Australian BDS Conference: Initial agenda and speakers information

Building Solidarity, Combating Occupation and Apartheid

National Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions conference

Melbourne, 29 – 31 October 2010

– activism in support of Palestine –

Dear friends and supporters,

We are very excited to make available the initial draft of the agenda for the upcoming National Australian BDS Conference in Melbourne.

In addition we are pleased to announce that the conference has been formally endorsed by the BDS National Committee (BNC) in Palestine and that our key note speaker for the conference will be Ms Rafeef Ziadah, a member of the steering committee of the BNC.

Rafeef is a Palestinian activist, unionist, academic and spoken word artist. She is a founding member of the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) promoting the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign in Canada, an organizer of the international Israeli Apartheid Week and a member of steering committee of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC). Rafeef is also an active unionist – she is a member of the Canadian Union of Public Employees and was a member of the CUPE’s international solidarity committee for 3 years.

Rafeef will speak at the Friday night launch of the conference as well as the session on international solidarity work with Samah Sabawi drawing out the lessons of both international solidarity campaign in support of the Palestinian people and the Canadian BDS campaign experience.

GENERAL CONFERENCE INFORMATION:

We will launch the conference with a Public Meeting in the city on Friday night. Conference sessions on Saturday and Sunday, along with the Concert for Palestine, will be held at the Maritime Union of Australia Hall at 54 Ireland St in Melbourne West on Saturday and Sunday.

As you will see we have attempted to keep the registration costs for the conference low to encourage supporters and friends from interstate to travel to Melbourne for the conference. We would like to encourage you to pre-register for the conference and pre-pay via electronic deposit. However, you will also able to register and pay at the conference.

We, unfortunately, cannot arrange accommodation for conference attendees, but we will make available in the coming weeks a list of accommodation options in Melbourne (ranging from budget to middle range).

At the conference, we will make available inexpensive lunches and snacks throughout the day

CONFERENCE CONCERT AND FUNDRAISER

We are also excited to announce on Saturday night there will be a “Concert for Palestine and Dinner” ($25/$20). The Concert has a fantastic lineup and includes: Fear of a Brown Planet, The Brothahood, The Conch, Phil Monsour Band and Rafeef Ziadah. On the night there will be Middle East Food available and drinks.

CONFERENCE ORGANISATION DONATIONS:

As our friends and supporters know, organising a conference takes time and money. As a result, we are appealing to friends and supporters to consider making also a donation towards conference organisation costs. Whether it is a big or small amount, it all makes a difference. Please consider if you can donate $10 or $20 or $50 or more to the organising of Australia’s first national BDS conference. Donations can be deposited in bank account listed above.

BSB: 063 262 Account number: 1052 9148 Please tag deposit with “BDS”

Finally, thank you to all of the individuals and groups who have endorsed the conference. We are excited about the conference and the positive responses we have received regarding the initiative and we look forward to seeing you all in October.

In solidarity,

Kim

For the Conference organising committee.

SPEAKERS AND INITIAL CONFERENCE AGENDA

Building Solidarity, Combating Occupation and Apartheid

National Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions conference

Melbourne, 29 – 31 October 2010

– activism in support of Palestine –

Endorsed by the Palestinian BDS National Committee

Our confirmed speakers so far include:

Rafeef Ziadah

Rafeef is a Palestinian activist, unionist and spoken word artist. She is a member of the steering committee of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC). Rafeef is also a founding member of the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) promoting the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestement and Sanctions (BDS) campaign in Canada and is an organizer of the international Israeli Apartheid Week. Rafeef is an activist unionist and is a member of the Canadian Union of Public Employees and was a member of the CUPE’s international solidarity committee for 3 years

Samah Sabawi

Samah is an Australian-Palestinian writer and social justice activist. She is co-author of Journey to Peace in Palestine and a former executive director of the National Council on Canada Arab Relations.

Alex Whisson

Alex is a long time Palestine solidarity activist. He is the former convenor of Friends of Palestine in Western Australia and is currently the Public Advocate for Australians for Palestine in Melbourne

Yousef Alreemawi

Yousef is a Palestinian academic and advocate for Palestinian and refugee rights. Yousef also presents Palestine Remembered, Australia’s only English language program on Palestine, on Radio 3CR. He is also the founder of ASPIRE – the Australian Society for Palestinian Iraqi Refugees Emergency – an humanitarian project which seeks to resettle in Australia, Palestinian-Iraqi refugees living in refugee camps on the Iraq/Syrian border.

Kim Sattler

Kim is a long-time unionist, who was active in the South African anti-apartheid campaign. Kim is currently the Secretary of Unions ACT in Canberra. Kim has recently returned from Palestine, where she participated in the Union Aid Abroad APHEDA Middle East Study Tour 2010

Ginny Adams

Ginny is an organiser with the Health and Community Sector Union. Ginny has been active in the Palestinian and refugee rights campaigns for more than 10 years. She recently returned from Palestine, where she participated in the Union Aid Abroad APHEDA Middle East Study Tour 2010

Ken Davis

Ken is a long-time unionist and social justice campaigner. He is a member of the Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine in Sydney.

INITIAL CONFERENCE AGENDA

Conference Registration: All weekend $30/22 (incl: Conference launch meeting) Daily $15/$10 Conference Launch meeting $5

Conference registration: email ausbds

FRIDAY – 29th October
TIME PUBLIC MEETING – LAUNCH SPEAKERS
7pm – International Boycott campaign and the struggle for a Free Palestine Kim Sattler (Secretary, Unions ACT)

Rafeef Ziadah (Palestinian BNC)

Yousef Al Reemawi (Palestinian academic)

SATURDAY – 30th October
TIME SESSION SPEAKERS
9am Welcome/Opening Conference Organising Committee
9.15am – 10.30am Taking it to the streets: a short history of civil disobedience movements for boycott, divestment sanctions Alex Whisson – Australians for Palestine

Julia Terreu – Action for Palestine

10.30-11am Break
11am – 12.30pm Struggle and Solidarity: Lessons from Palestine Solidarity work internationally Samah Sabawi – Palestinian writer/former Executive Director of National Council on Canada Arab Relations

Rafeef Ziadah – Palestinian BNC

12.30pm-1.15pm Lunch
1.15pm – 2.15pm National Targets Proposals Conference organising committee
2.15pm – 3.45pm Discussion of proposed National Targets Break into sectoral groups – Unions Campus/Faith based/ Community/Culture
3.45pm – 4.15pm Break
4.15pm – 5.30pm Education Workshops Workshops to be confirmed
6.30pm – midnight CONCERT FOR PALESTINE AND DINNER Featuring: Fear of a Brown Planet, The Brothahood, The Conch, Phil Monsour Band and Rafeef Ziadah $25/$20
SUNDAY 31st OCTOBER
TIME SESSION SPEAKERS
9.30pm – 10.45am Apartheid: South Africa, Israel and international law. Ken Davis – Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine

Ginny Adams – union organiser

10.45am- 11.15am Break
11.15am-12.15pm Discussion of proposed National Targets Continued solidarity sector discussion from the day before
12.15pm 1pm lunch
1pm – 2.15pm Hasbara busting: Countering Israel’s propaganda war and attempts to delegitimise BDS. Samah Sawbawi – Palestinian writer/former Executive Director of National Council on Canada Arab Relations

Kim Bullimore – International Women’s Peace Service-Palestine

2.15 –2.45 pm Break
2.45 pm – 4.30pm Decision on National BDS target
4.30pm – 5pm Closing of conference

Building Solidarity, Combating Occupation and Apartheid

National Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions conference

Melbourne, 29 – 31 October 2010

– activism in support of Palestine –

Endorsed by the Palestinian BDS National Committee

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION

Please email completed registration form to: ausbds

NAME

2 thoughts on “Australian BDS Conference: Initial agenda and speakers information

  1. loewdabull says:

    Dr. Abd Al-Fatah Nu’man: “The word ‘fleet’ and all the talk about its commander, Bülent Yildirim, reminded me of the days when the Mediterranean Sea was full of Islamic fleets. Today, once again, we smell the scent of the fleet. True, the current fleet does not bear weapons or carry armies, but it carries the same scent – believing men, armed with faith.

    “Yesterday, I was following the news agencies, and they reported the threats of the Zionists to detain the convoy and to prevent it from reaching Gaza. On the other side, there are people armed with faith and resolve, who chant – even while hearing the threats: ‘Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews, the army of Muhammad will return.’ A woman stood on the deck, and said: “We await one of two good things – to achieve martyrdom or to reach the shore of Gaza.”

    “This scent is a message to the Islamic nation worldwide: Islam is coming, and Gaza is the spearhead that sets the nation in motion.

    […]

    “What they fear today is the awakening of the Islamic nation. The issue is not the entrance of a convoy or the arrival of aid. The fear of the convoy and of Gaza is, in fact, the fear of the Zionists and of the [Arab] rulers. These rulers, who weigh heavily on the Arab and Islamic nation, are no less terrified than the Zionists of those actions that awaken the shackled, persecuted, and oppressed nation.

    “My message is to those heroes who are, as we speak, at mid-sea, in pitch darkness under the skies, their palms raised to Allah in supplication. What are they asking for? The Prophet Muhammad said: “He whose feet have been covered with dust for the sake of Allah is saved from the Hellfire, and he who has fought even for only the time it takes to milk a she-camel secures a place in Paradise.” These heroes were selected by Allah to carry out this mission – the mission of awakening the nation, and this will bring honor upon them.

    “Yesterday, the commander of the fleet said: ‘We will not allow the Zionists to come near us, and we will wage resistance against them.’ With what will they wage resistance? With their fingernails. These are people who wish to be martyred for the sake of Allah. As much as they want to reach Gaza, the other option is more desirable to them.

    “We pray to Allah that they be awarded both good things: That they reach the shore of Gaza safe and sound, and that they be granted martyrdom, along with us, on the walls of the Al-Aqsa Mosque – as conquerors.”

    Al-Jazeera TV Report from “Freedom Flotilla” Before Its Departure for Gaza: Activists On Board Chant Intifada Songs and Praise Martyrdom – May 28, 2010

    Reporter: “Despite the Israeli threats and some unexpected obstacles, the arrival of the ships at the rendezvous, in preparation to set sail to Gaza, has kindled the emotions and enthusiasm of the participants.”

    Crowd chanting: “Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews, the army of Muhammad will return.”

    Reporter: “Through songs about the Palestinian Intifada, the participants expressed their longing to reach Gaza.”

    Participant 1: “The brothers here are shouting and are full of enthusiasm. They are waiting to leave soon, with the ships around us in the sea. Allah willing, we will make our way to Gaza.”

    Participant 2: “We are now waiting for one of two good things – either to achieve martyrdom, or to reach Gaza.”

    Egyptian Expert on International Law Ahmad Hassan Omar: Turkey and Other Countries Should Use Aid Convoys to Transfer Weapons to Gaza and Returning Refugees to Acre – Al-Jazeera, May 18, 2010

    Interviewer: “A spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry said that the [‘Freedom Fleet’] campaign was a provocation and a violation of Israeli law. How are we to understand this, from a legal perspective?”

    Dr. Hassan Ahmad Omar: “Resolution 3103 of the UN General Assembly, issued in 1973, affirmed the basic rights of combatants against foreign, racist, occupying forces. According to this resolution, all the counties in the world have the right – and even the obligation – to aid the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, in the form of food supplies and weapons. Moreover, the time has come to implement Resolution 194, regarding the return of the Palestinian refugees.

    “These convoys could carry food supplies and weapons, as well as Palestinian refugees, who want to return to their homeland.

    […]

    “Israel, which imposes a siege on the Gaza Strip, cannot talk about legal channels for providing aid. In my view, Turkey…”

    Interviewer: “But such channels exist, don’t they?”

    Dr. Hassan Ahmad Omar: “The siege that Israel is imposing… It is necessary to provide Gaza not only with food, water, and building supplies, but also with weapons. Weapons must be provided, because these are weapons of revolutionaries, and aid must be provided to the Gaza Strip.

    “It is necessary [to help] the refugees return to the Gaza Strip, as well as to the Acre region, because according to the partition plan, it belongs to the Arab state of Palestine.

    […]

    “The various countries have an obligation to provide these weapons and food to Gaza, and [to enable] the return of the refugees.

    “Turkey could revive the commission consisting of Turkey, France, and the US, which was mentioned in Resolution 194 regarding the return of the refugees, thus facilitating the return of the refugees to Acre – at least the half million refugees from Lebanon – in accordance with article 6 of Security Council Resolution 1559.

    “These aid campaigns should not be restricted to food and water. The [ships] could also include returning refugees and weapons for the Palestinian revolutionaries.

    […]

    “I would like to recommend that the brothers in Turkey use the hovercraft as a means of transportation.”

    Interviewer: “But all these proposals require official international support for these ships. Does this campaign enjoy such support?”

    Dr. Hassan Ahmad Omar: “UN Resolution 3103 obliges these countries to provide aid to the Gaza Strip. The hovercraft can carry all the cars and all the aid. Since the Gaza port is not ready, the amphibian hovercraft can reach the very sands of Gaza.

    “In all future aid campaigns for Gaza we can use the hovercraft. I have approached the International Islamic Bank, and proposed that they buy hovercraft, and give them to countries that want to provide aid to Gaza.”

    Al-Arabiya TV Reports on a New Shopping Mall in Gaza

    Following is an excerpt from a report on a new shopping mall that opened recently in Gaza. The report aired on Al-Arabiya TV on August 27, 2010.

    Reporter: In this shopping center, thousands of Gazans have begun to buy their food and clothing. It was named the “Gaza Mall” by its owners, a group of Palestinian businessmen, some of whom are affiliated with Hamas.

    Salesman: It is a pleasure to do all your shopping in one place. Families spend two hours or more here, enjoying themselves shopping. The number of shoppers and visitors is growing day by day.

    Shopper no. 1: We have begun to feel that there is some progress like in the Gulf states. This is a humble start, but Allah be praised, there is progress.

    Reporter: In the airconditioned two-storey building, there are dozens of shops selling shoes, clothes, perfumes, and accessories. The shelves are packed with foreign, Israeli, and Arab products. On the ground floor, there is a supermarket and a small restaurant.

    Shopper no. 2: The prices of some products are high, while others are reasonable. We manage.

    Shopper no. 3: It’s a new thing for us. You can get anything here. I don’t know how they get all these things, with the siege and all.

    Shopper no. 4: It is as if there’s no siege at all. People are buying things. They all want to make their children happy.

    Reporter: It is modest compared to shopping centers in the neighboring countries, but some people here consider it a step forward.

    This is Hannan Al-Masri, Al-Arabiya TV, from Gaza.

    ianeatstruth, on September 5, 2010 at 12:26 pm Said:
    August 18, 2010

    Egyptian Cleric Salem Abu Al-Futuh: We Will Conquer Italy and the Rest of Europe, as Well as North and South America; The West Will Convert to Islam

    Following are excerpts from an interview with Egyptian cleric Salem Abu Al-Futuh, which aired on Al-Nas TV on August 18, 2010:

    Salem Abu Al-Futuh: The nation of Islam will return – despite our current crisis and despite the arrogance of the West. The West is bound to be destroyed. Just like Allah destroyed the Byzantine and Persian empires, He will destroy the West at the hands of the Muslims. This is an unequivocal promise. These countries will convert to Islam. Islam will reach these countries.

    […]

    Let us examine the divine sequence: First, the Caliphate will return. Then, the Muslims will live in tremendous prosperity. The economy of the Muslims will be the strongest of all. You are probably thinking that I’m not well today if I say such things. By God, there’s nothing wrong with me. I am speaking words of truth.

    […]

    Great conquests will ensue. We will conquer Italy.

    […]

    By Allah, we will conquer Italy. By Allah, we will conquer Italy and move into [the rest] of Europe. Islam will enter that entire region. Even America, you ask? Yes, even America. North or south America? Both North and South America. We will enter all these countries, and people there will be joining Islam in droves

  2. NIko Leka says:

    Please advise of national targets and particular firms to target. See how we can support BDS in Newcastle NSW.
    Viva Palestine!

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