Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign unreservedly condemns the action of the London police in arresting two peaceful pro-Palestine demonstrators under anti-“terrorism” laws at a protest against Israeli atrocities outside the Israeli embassy on October 17th. This political intervention by the police was interference in a matter that is none of their business and we offer our full support to the two arrested in asserting their rights to free political expression, a right that is under attack to protect the State of Israel.

The right of demonstration organisers to urge marchers to follow previously agreed-upon decisions is obvious; the assertion by the London police of a presumed right to enforce what is politically acceptable on pro-Palestine demonstrations is a threat to all our freedom of speech and public association.

Movements in Britain in support of colonial freedom have always been met with repression and there is no reason to expect the freedom struggle of the Palestinian people to be an exception. We call upon all groups committed to solidarity with the Palestinian people to recognise that “an injury to one is an injury to all” and to extend full political and practical support to the two arrested campaigners.

No one should be left isolated in the face of state attacks on their rights to freedom of speech and association; allowing a relatively small group of campaigners for Palestinian rights to be isolated and attacked would be both short-sighted and dangerous; it would only encourage police and prosecutors to widen the scope of their activities, especially in the current atmosphere of Government plans to reprise Thatcher-era legislation to criminalise elected local councils and other bodies who politically support the Palestinian call for boycott of the Apartheid State of Israel.

By supporting those arrested on October 17th and others whose fundamental freedoms are violated we are defending our own rights to campaign against the dispossession of the Palestinian people by the settler-colonial State of Israel.

Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign
5 November, 2015

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