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My view from the crowd: 5th June outside Israeli Embassy in London

June 8, 2010 4 comments

I was at High Street Kensington on Saturday 5th June waiting outside the Israeli embassy for the protest march to arrive from Downing Street. Since

4 young Muslim girls leading the crowd chanting "Free free Palestine Israil terrorist"

moving out of London in late 2008 I had not participated in any public demonstrations or protests and was glad to be back amidst the crowds. As the approximately 20,000 protesters descended upon High St Ken I was struck by two observations. Firstly by how many young teenaged Muslims were in the crowd. Perhaps I never particularly noticed from past demonstrations the sheer numbers of such young protesters. Perhaps it is specifically the Free Gaza protests that have attracted so many young protesters who may have followed the unfolding of the massacre online. I don’t know the answers. I re-watched the 3-minute video I took just before the 20,000 crowd gathered round and was again struck by the boldness and forwardness of young Muslim girls running up the stage, taking hold of the microphone and leading the early-gathered crowds in anti-Israeli chants. It could well be just the difference in physical layout –  the last time I attended a mass protest it ended in Trafalgar Square where there is no chance of random protesters running onto the stage and grabbing the microphone. Regardless of the physical or logistic design of these protests, it was clear to me that there really has been an upswell of increasing popular support. Read more…

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Gaza Aid Flotilla useful links for updates

May 30, 2010 1 comment

If you’re looking for updates about the flotilla, these  links will help:

Gaza Freedom March (with good local links) http://ht.ly/1RPTO

Palestine Monitor  – http://www.palestinemonitor.org/spip/spip.php?article1425

Witness Gaza – http://witnessgaza.com/

http://www.ihh.org.tr/

Livestream – http://www.livestream.com/insaniyardim

Jews for Justice for Palestinians – http://jfjfp.com/

Ma’an News Agency report – http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=288217

International Middle East Media Center – http://www.imemc.org/article/58804

You won’t find much news or updates in the mainstream UK press, so follow these  above. If you’re on Twitter, the following people will provide useful updates. Please remember to use the #flotilla hashtag to keep it trending:

@ielsakka

@Palaestina

@justicentric

@nmoawad (was apparently blocked by twitter today and we’re waiting for an unblock, in sha Allah! Update – the a/c is now unblocked)

@kalimakhus

@5hadz

@PalestineToday

@avinunu

@allawati

For real-time updates follow http://bit.ly/a8ZInL

Was that what I said to the Beeb?

May 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Jamillah Knowles of BBC News emailed me during GE season to ask if I would participate in their Bloggers’ Review of the GE campaign. I wrote long answers in response  to her questions. I suppose excitement got the better of me and I didn’t think about the press just taking what suits them best. Sigh. Lesson learnt. I should be more impactful and effective next time this kind of thing happens to me. Anyway, here are the links!

Post-polling day review

Pre-polling day review

Categories: Media, Politics, Press

Welcome to New Politics

May 12, 2010 2 comments

photo taken off http://news.bbc.co.uk/

Well. All parties must have been well disappointed with the result of the election. I do believe that David Cameron and his Tories would by far have preferred a majority Conservative government but the hung parliament has meant that, after several days of negotiations, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats have formed a coalition government. Being a Liberal Democrat supporter I was disappointed that we did not do as well as expected. But then the realities of What Happens Next set in. Read more…

It’s far from over folks! I say NO to coalitions

May 8, 2010 9 comments

Adapted from guardian.co.uk

So I was wrong. On the eve of Polling day I was looking forward to “it being all over tomorrow”. What was I thinking? I should have been more honest and exposed my mantra – Expect the worst, hope for the best. The worst, of course, would be a majority Tory government. The best would be a hung parliament. And so “the best” has happened. What I (and perhaps millions others) did not see coming (or maybe were too busy to confront at the time) is the period of uncertainty that comes after the electorate has delivered a hung parliament. So David Cameron and his Tories want a coalition with Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats. Mr Clegg is open to speaking to both Labour and the Tories (and by now has probably spoken to both already). I’m confused. Why is it that all everyone is talking about is coalition to form a majority government to make life easier for either of the two big parties? I support NO coalitions. I support Parliament being run by a minority Tory administration with no majority. I support that each decision be taken issue by issue in Parliament. Read more…

“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”

May 5, 2010 1 comment

It’s the eve of Polling Day and I cannot believe how I’m feeling – like a student (that I am) going into the biggest most difficult examination in the morning. I’ve had to tune off the tele with all the news, and close the Twitter and Facebook tabs on my browser. I needed to relax and take my mind off the “big exam” tomorrow so I decided to read all about Naomi Campbell’s “extreme beauty regime” as revealed in the interview she gave Oprah Winfrey and followed up in this Guardian article. The distraction paid off as I picked up a gem of a quote. Apparently Kate Moss said, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” Wow. I’ve been so caught up with the GE2010 I’ve completely missed what the real movers and shakers are up to! Good thing it’ll all be over tomorrow. Now to find out what tv cookery shows we actually want to see….interesting indeed.

3 days to go – Which incidents/articles do you remember about GE2010?

May 3, 2010 1 comment

72 hours to Polling day and here’s what I remember most (following the ‘disappearance’ of the NI bickering):

3 May: The Year of the Broken Swing, Jon Snow on C4

3 May: Clegg’s Journey to the Promised Land, Donald Macintyre for The Independent

3 May:  General Election 2010: Gordon Brown was undone by the media, not Gillian Duffy, Charles Moore for the Telegraph

3 May: Election 2010: The View from Speakers’ Corner, Brian Wheeler for BBC News Read more…