Just Stop Oil supporters pledge to continue in wake of 23 arrests for peacefully marching from Downing Street to Parliament.

Just Stop Oil protesting in London 6 December 2022.
Just Stop Oil protesting in London 6 December 2022.

Just Stop Oil are peacefully marching in defiance of new anti-protest legislation that came into effect yesterday. They state that they will immediately halt their campaign when the government makes a meaningful statement to end licensing and consents for any new fossil fuel projects in the UK.

From around 8:00 am, over 30 Just Stop Oil supporters began marching from Queen Victoria Street in the City of London. Just Stop Oil supporters have been slow marching in the capital every day since the 24th April.

Yesterday 23 Just Stop Oil supporters were arrested for peacefully marching from Downing Street to Parliament Square. The police were acting with new powers granted by the Home Office following the commencement of the ‘public order’ bill yesterday. This is the third piece of legislation in two years designed to silence legitimate dissent. The introduction of this bill has been described as ‘alarming’ by Amnesty International and ‘deeply troubling’ by the U.N High Commissioner for Human Rights. 

The home secretary has also used a controversial ‘statutory instrument’ to grant extra powers to the police, in a bid to ban ‘slow walking’ demonstrations. In doing so, the home secretary has evaded the usual democratic process, as these measures were previously rejected from the ‘public order’ bill by the House of Lords.

A Just Stop Oil spokesperson said:

“Yesterday, 23 good people were arrested for peacefully marching between Downing Street and Parliament, in accordance with their fundamental human rights. Rights that are protected under international law. All legal avenues for dissent have now been banned by this illegitimate, criminal government. ”

“In licensing new fossil fuels, they are overseeing the destruction of our homes, livelihoods and food supply. This will lead to the collapse of ordered society. This is treason. Regardless of our divergent political beliefs, it is imperative the citizens of this country wake up to what is happening, and get onto the streets to resist. It is what our children and the next 10,000 generations demand of us. Any less is a betrayal of our loved ones and the hundreds of millions currently experiencing climate collapse around the world.”

Continue ReadingJust Stop Oil supporters pledge to continue in wake of 23 arrests for peacefully marching from Downing Street to Parliament.

Israeli violence at al-Aqsa mosque shows ‘sheer brutality’ of apartheid, says Amnesty International UK


ISRAEL has been condemned for mounting a second brutal attack on worshippers at one of Islam’s holiest sites — the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), who were filmed on Tuesday using clubs and stun grenades to attack Palestinian worshippers, returned to the mosque on Wednesday for a repeat of the operation.

Human rights group Amnesty International UK said the second attack on al-Aqsa “illustrates the sheer brutality of Israel’s system of apartheid against Palestinians.”

Heba Morayef of Amnesty said: “Once again, the Israeli security forces have shown the world what apartheid looks like.

“These orchestrated attacks demonstrate just how far the Israeli authorities will go to maintain their cruel system of apartheid.

“Israeli security forces have now subjected Palestinian worshippers to two consecutive nights of horror and turned one of the holiest sites in Islam into a crime scene.


Continue ReadingIsraeli violence at al-Aqsa mosque shows ‘sheer brutality’ of apartheid, says Amnesty International UK

Government’s plans to punish refugees branded ‘desperate and cruel’


Amnesty International says ‘people fleeing persecution and conflict will be irreparably harmed by these proposals’

Image of UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
Rish! Sunak

NEW government laws to punish refugees who arrive “illegally” in Britain after making perilous journeys across the English Channel in small boats were slammed as “desperate and cruel” today.

The Illegal Migration Bill, outlined by Home Secretary Suella Braverman in Parliament on Tuesday, will see migrants arriving on small boats “swiftly removed.”

Under the plans, people crossing the Channel will not be able to claim asylum in Britain and will face a lifetime ban on returning after they are removed.

They will also never be allowed to settle in the country or gain citizenship.

Ms Braverman admitted that she “can’t say definitively” if the new Bill complies with human rights laws.


Continue ReadingGovernment’s plans to punish refugees branded ‘desperate and cruel’

Sanders Says US Must ‘Take a Hard Look’ at Nearly $4 Billion in Annual Military Aid to Israel


“It is illegal for U.S. aid to support human rights violations,” said the Vermont senator. by Jake Johnson, staff writer

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont said Sunday that lawmakers must “take a hard look” at the nearly $4 billion in military aid the U.S. sends to Israel on an annual basis as the Netanyahu regime continues its devastating assault on Gaza and attempts to forcefully expel Palestinians from their homes in occupied East Jerusalem.

“The devastation in Gaza is unconscionable. We must urge an immediate ceasefire,” Sanders, the chair of the Senate Budget Committee, tweeted Sunday. “The killing of Palestinians and Israelis must end. We must also take a hard look at nearly $4 billion a year in military aid to Israel. It is illegal for U.S. aid to support human rights violations.”

“Now is the time to send a clear message to the Israeli government: Not one dollar more of U.S. military aid can be used to demolish Palestinian homes, annex Palestinian lands, and torture or kill Palestinian children.”
—Rep. Betty McCollum

The senator’s call came after Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip killed 42 Palestinians early Sunday, bringing the death toll since last week closer to 200.

Thanks to a 10-year deal inked during the Obama presidency in 2016, Israel receives roughly $3.8 billion a year in military assistance from the United States. In a budget blueprint released last month, President Joe Biden indicated that he intends to adhere to the terms of the 2016 deal, which sends Israel $3.3 billion in military aid and $500 million for missile defense systems each year.

In the wake of Israeli security forces’ attack on worshipers at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound last week, several members of Congress vocally reiterated their support for adding strict human rights conditions to the billions of dollars in U.S. military aid to pressure the Israeli government to end its brutal repression of Palestinians.

Under legal provisions known as the Leahy laws, the U.S. government is barred from providing military assistance “to any unit” of a country’s security forces that is committing “a gross violation of human rights”—mandates that have been applied only selectively in practice.

“American taxpayer money is being used to commit human rights violations,” Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), the first Palestinian-American woman ever elected to Congress, tweeted last Monday. “Congress must condition the aid we send to Israel, and end it altogether if those conditions are not followed.”

In a joint statement that same day, Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), André Carson (D-Ind.), and Tlaib lamented that “we continue to provide the Israeli government with over $3 billion in military aid every year—with no conditions or accountability for wanton human rights abuses and continuing illegal seizures of Palestinian land.”

Last month, before Israel’s latest bombardment of Gaza began, Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) introduced legislation that would prohibit Israel from using U.S. military aid in the occupied territories for “military detention, abuse, or ill-treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli military detention”; seizing or destroying Palestinian property and homes; or supporting the annexation of Palestinian territory.

The bill currently has just 19 co-sponsors in the House, including Omar, Carson, and Tlaib as well as Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

“Now is the time to send a clear message to the Israeli government: Not one dollar more of U.S. military aid can be used to demolish Palestinian homes, annex Palestinian lands, and torture or kill Palestinian children,” McCollum told The Intercept last week. “Members need to decide if they want to talk peace and perpetuate conflict or if they want to really work toward reducing violence and conflict while actually taking a stand to advance human rights.

Originally published by Common Dreams. Shared under Creative Commons Licence (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).

Israel/OPT: Pattern of Israeli Attacks on Residential Homes in Gaza Must Be Investigated As War Crimes

WASHINGTON – Israeli forces have displayed a shocking disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians by carrying out a number of airstrikes targeting residential buildings in some cases killing entire families – including children – and causing wanton destruction to civilian property, in attacks that may amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity, said Amnesty International today.

The organization has documented four deadly attacks by Israel launched on residential homes without prior warning and is calling for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to urgently investigate these attacks. The death toll in Gaza continues to climb with at least 198 Palestinians killed including 58 children and more than 1,220 injured. Ten people in Israel, including two children, have been killed and at least 27 injured by Palestinian attacks.

“There is a horrific pattern emerging of Israel launching air strikes in Gaza targeting residential buildings and family homes – in some cases entire families were buried beneath the rubble when the buildings they lived in collapsed.  In the cases documented below, no prior warning was given to the civilian residents to allow them to escape. Under international humanitarian law, all parties must distinguish between military targets and civilian objects and direct their attacks only at military objectives. When carrying out attacks, parties must take all feasible precautions to minimize harm to civilians,” said Saleh Higazi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Continue ReadingSanders Says US Must ‘Take a Hard Look’ at Nearly $4 Billion in Annual Military Aid to Israel

Diane Abbott received half of all abusive tweets sent to women MPs

Image of Dianne Abbot

by Emma Bean

The shadow home secretary experienced the vast majority of online abuse sent to women MPs, and had 10 times more abusive tweets sent to her than any other figure in the run up to the election. She also suffered eight times more abuse in the whole six month period which was analysed.

The research, conducted by Amnesty International, looked at messages sent in the period between January 1 and June 8. In this time she received almost a third of all the abuse directed at women political figures.

The list of the five female politicians who received the most abuse included two other Labour MPs, with Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, and Jess Phillips, chair of the women’s PLP, coming in third and fourth respectively. Joanna Cherry, SNP MP, got the second most abuse and Anna Soubry, Conservative MP for Broxtowe and a prominent Europhile, being placed fifth in the ranking.

However, Abbott’s level of abuse far outstrips those mentioned, with the trailblazing Hackney North MP receiving 31.6 per cent of abusive tweets, and the rest of the top five getting nearer three per cent of abusive tweets. She also received more abusive tweets than all the women in the SNP and Conservative party combined in the six month period.

Ethnic minority women politicians, excluding Abbott, received 35 per cent more abuse than white women. Some 5.8 per cent of all tweets sent mentioning Abbott’s twitter handle were classified as abusive.

The report found that “intersectional discrimination” meant that a figure who had more than one identity, e.g. if LGBT, BAME or disabled, meant that they were then more likely to face abuse.

In a New Statesman article describing the report, Amnesty’s researcher in technology and human rights Azmina Dhrodia writes: “Diane Abbott standing out in our analysis is an acute example of how intersectional discrimination works. The abuse that she faces is not just sexist and misogynistic; it’s also incredibly racist.”

“Nearly 90 years after women won the right to vote, there is a real danger that the high levels of online abuse against women MPs will have a chilling effect on women taking part in public life  —  particularly women of colour. This is not only detrimental in terms of the possible long-term effect on the representation of women in politics in the UK but also continues to deepen societal inequality between genders.”


Continue ReadingDiane Abbott received half of all abusive tweets sent to women MPs