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Saturday 23rd & 30th January 2016
11am to 1pm
Glasgow: Gordon Street Co-op Bank
Corner of Mitchell St
Edinburgh: George Street Co-op Bank
between Hanover St & Frederick St
The Co-op Bank is working to impede groups campaigning for Palestinian rights by threatening to shut down the accounts of SPSC and Friends of Al Aqsa, making it much more difficult to operate. The bank claims we are too big a risk because Palestine is so dangerous. It seems that facilities for groups working for solidarity, or even providing humanitarian aid to Gaza by financing a scholarship fund, are yet more 'collateral damage' from the bombing and shelling of Gaza and the Israeli reign of terror in the West Bank.
This Saturday, SPSC and Friends of Al Aqsa members will be explaining to customers why the Co-op Bank doesn't deserve their business or their account. We'll change focus a few times to hear from some Palestinians about their experiences, personal examples of the Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people that the Co-op Bank is now working to protect from effective challenge. The Co-op Bank has only contacted SPSC and FoA to threaten the closure of the accounts. No information has been requested, no meeting offered.
Please come and support these protests on Saturday. If you have a Co-op Bank account, you can join a queue of Co-op Bank customers who will be complaining on Saturday. We have many questions that need answering. Some of us will be closing our accounts on Saturday.
This sinister move by the Co-op Bank needs to be condemned by all parties committed to human rights and free speech - for closing a bank account is an attack on the right to promote our message. It should be seen in the wider context of Cameron's threats to criminalise local councils who support the Palestinian call for boycott of Israel. Or the decision last November by the UK Government to deny visas to a group of Palestinian medical experts from Gaza who were invited to participate in an international conference at Kingston University on trauma in war zones.
It's time to take a stand:
- Israel is a UK ally while the UK votes to keep Palestine from international contaqcts, even upgrading its status at the UN
- Britain (and Scotland, including Glasgow and Edinburgh) send drones and other weapons to murder Palestinians trapped in the worlds largest open prison, Gaza, but don't allow Gaza surgeons to visit and meet with colleagues to share life-saving skills
- Bank accounts of volunteer human rights groups are closed down while pro-Israeli figures in the US and UK own banks
The Scottish Government condemned the 'depth of inhumanity' of the Israeli massacre of Palestinians in summer 2014. Will they and others now defend those who campaign against such 'depth of imhumanity' and are attacked by a US hedge fund?