- Created: Tuesday, 19 June 2018 12:41
- Written by Newcastle FRFI
Newcastle supporters of FRFI are consistently on the streets protesting against racism, imperialism, occupation and war. Below are brief reports on recent protests we have been involved in.
Al Nakba Solidarity Demonstration
On May 19 we held a Nakba solidarity demonstration outside Marks & Spencer on Northumberland Street: M&S being both a political and financial supporter of Israel. Al Nakba means ‘The Catastrophe’, and is the Palestinian people’s commemoration of the violent uprooting and displacement of their people, during the formation of the Zionist state of Israel. The Israeli Defence Force attacked unarmed Palestinians with tear gas and sniper rifles leaving 61 dead and thousands more injured on Monday 14 May, the eve of the Al Nakba anniversary in 2018.
International Day of Solidarity with Afrin
Saturday 26 May was called as a day of solidarity for the Kurdish city of Afrin, Syria in opposition to the invasion by the racist state of Turkey. We held a demonstration outside the Newcastle branch of Thomas Cook on Northumberland Street. Thomas Cook sell holidays to Turkey and guided tours of Israel. The Kurdish and Palestinian people call for boycotts of holidays in Turkey and Israel in order to financially isolate their oppressors, calls which FRFI supports. In addition to these deals however one of Thomas Cook’s directors, Warren Tucker also sits on the board of the government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and is Chair of the FCO’s Audit and Risk Committee. On the day we were joined by a number of FRFI supporters as well as a group of Kurdish people. We informed many members of the passing public and those going into Thomas Cook of the atrocities committed by Israel and Turkey. We convinced people to not holiday in Turkey.
Migration and Asylum Justice Forum, Post-Tribunal Protest
On 2 June, the Migration and Asylum Justice Forum (MAJF), of which FRFI is part; held a demonstration outside Haymarket Metro station. The purpose of the protest was to stand against overcrowding in asylum housing and speak out against Jomast, the North East based property development company. Jomast is profiteering off slum landlordism with regards to the housing of asylum seekers in the region under the Home Office’s COMPASS Contract, held by G4S and subcontracted locally to Jomast. A recent tribunal ruling found in favour of Jomast against Newcastle City Council’s policy against forced room sharing of unrelated same sex adults.
The protest sent a message loud and clear to Jomast. We will continue to campaign on this issue alongside our opposition to overcrowded Houses of Multi Occupancy (HMOs) used to house single mothers and their young children under the COMPASS contract. The demonstration was well attended with a vibrant atmosphere which included street theatre and despite a small fascist counter-demo many passers-by stood with MAJF.
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