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Archive for August, 2010

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.  Rafeef is a member of the steering committee of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.  Rafeef will be speaking at the conference on behalf of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (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.  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 also 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

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 money and time.  As a result, we are appealing to friends and supporters to consider making also 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.

SPEAKERS AND INITIAL CONFERENCE AGENDA

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 Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) 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 an organizer of the international Israeli Apartheid Week. Rafeef 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.

Ofer Neiman

Ofer Neiman is a co-editor of the Occupation Magazine, and one of the activists in the Israeli support group for the BDS campaign, “BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS call from within”. He works as an editor and a translator. He believes that Israeli peace and anti-occupation groups will not be able to change reality from within, without support from the outside.  Ofer will join the Friday launch of the conference via video/internet hookup from Jerusalem.

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@gmail.com

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@gmail.com

NAME             ___________________________________________________________________

PHONE ___________________________________________________________

EMAIL            ___________________________________________________________________

(    ) ALL WEEKEND $30 workers/$22 concession (includes public meeting)

OR

(    ) CONFERENCE LAUNCH – FRIDAY $5

(    ) SATURDAY $15 workers/$10 concession

(    ) SUNDAY $15 workers/$10 concession

***

(    ) CONCERT FOR PALESTINE $25/$20

Featuring: Fear of a Brown Planet, The Brothahood, The Conch, Phil Monsour Band and Rafeef Ziadah  (Middle Eastern food and drinks available)

PRE-PAYMENT:

Pre-Payment of conference registration is encouraged.  You can electronically transfer your payment to:

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

CONFERENCE ORGANISATION DONATIONS:
As our friends and supporters know, organising a conference takes money and time.  As a result, we are appealing to friends and supporters to consider making 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.

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Update No 3: 13 August, 2010

UPDATE ON NATIONAL AUSTRALIAN BDS CONFERENCE CALL

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,

Thank you for your emails and support.  Within the next week, we will be releasing for your information our initial agenda for the conference, along with information on the speakers who have already agreed to participate in the conference.

In the meantime, endorsements for the conference have continued to come in and since our last update, we have received the endorsements for the conference from:

  • Palestine Community Association (Victoria)
  • Australian Muslim Committee for Palestine.
  • Just Peace Queensland
  • Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine (Sydney)
  • Dr Adel Yousef (Lecturer, Deakin University)
  • Melinda Huntely

They have joined the following individuals, community and solidarity groups in endorsing the call for the conference:

Individuals

  • Yousef Alreemawi; advocate for Palestine, academic and refugee activist.
  • Leyal Asku – Lawyer.
  • Fay Waddington (Palestine Solidarity Queensland)
  • Kim Sattler (Secretary Unions ACT)
  • Ginny Adams (Organiser, Health and Community Services Union)
  • Kathryn Kelly (former ISM activist)
  • Garth Smith  (Organiser, Seminars in the Sand, Byron Bay)
  • Maxine Caron (Organiser, Seminars in the Sand, Byron Bay);

Groups:

  • Friends of Palestine Western Australia (Perth)
  • Palestine Solidarity Campaign (Melbourne)
  • Students for Palestine (Victoria)
  • Action for Palestine (Adelaide)
  • Justice for Palestine (Brisbane)
  • Australian-Palestinian Cultural Centre Australians for Palestine (Melbourne)
  • Australians for Justice and Peace in Palestine (Canberra)
  • Women in Black (Melbourne)
  • Federation of Australian Muslim Students and Youth (FAMSY)
  • Palestine Remembered @ Radio 3CR; Australia’s only radio program that it totally dedicated to the Palestinian cause in English

We would like to encourage all supporters of the Palestinian struggle for self-determination and justice to endorse and support this very important initiative.  If you would like to endorse and support the call for the conference, please contact us on ausbds@gmail.com

We will send out regular updates on the endorsements and the planning for the conference over the next couple of months.

You can keep up with news of what is happening with the conference by joining our email announcement group at: australian-bds-conference@googlegroups.com (or email us at ausbds@gmail.com and let us know you want to be added to the announcement list and we will add you).

Or by joining us on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/group.php?gid=123970357646027

We will also keep our blog regularly updated: https://australianbdscampaign.wordpress.com/

Thank you again and see you all in October!

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Update No 2: 27 July, 2010

UPDATE ON NATIONAL AUSTRALIAN BDS CONFERENCE CALL

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,

Thank you for your emails and words of support.  We have been overwhelmed and delighted by the positive response to the conference call.  We are currently working on the conference program and agenda and hope to have an initial program to you all shortly.

In the meantime, endorsements for the conference have continued to come in and in the last week we have received endorsements for the conference from:

  • Australians for Palestine (Melbourne)
  • Australians for Justice and Peace in Palestine (Canberra)
  • Women in Black (Melbourne)
  • Federation of Australian Muslim Students and Youth (FAMSY)
  • Garth Smith  (Organiser, Seminars in the Sand, Byron Bay)
  • Maxine Caron (Organiser, Seminars in the Sand, Byron Bay);

They have joined the following individuals, community and solidarity groups in endorsing the call for the conference:

Individuals

  • Yousef Alreemawi; advocate for Palestine, academic and refugee activist.
  • Leyal Asku – Lawyer.
  • Fay Waddington (Palestine Solidarity Queensland)
  • Kim Sattler (Secretary Unions ACT)
  • Ginny Adams (Organiser, Health and Community Services Union)
  • Kathryn Kelly (former ISM activist)

Groups:

  • Friends of Palestine Western Australia (Perth)
  • Palestine Solidarity Campaign (Melbourne)
  • Students for Palestine (Victoria)
  • Action for Palestine (Adelaide)
  • Justice for Palestine (Brisbane)
  • Australian-Palestinian Cultural Centre
  • Palestine Remembered @ Radio 3CR; Australia’s only radio program that it totally dedicated to the Palestinian cause in English

We would like to encourage all supporters of the Palestinian struggle for self-determination and justice to endorse and support this very important initiative.  If you would like to endorse and support the call for the conference, please contact us on ausbds@gmail.com

We will send out regular updates on the endorsements and the planning for the conference over the next couple of months.

You can keep up with news of what is happening with the conference by joining our email announcement group at: australian-bds-conference@googlegroups.com (or email us at ausbds@gmail.com and let us know you want to be added to the announcement list and we will add you).

Or by joining us on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/group.php?gid=123970357646027

We will also keep our blog regularly updated: https://australianbdscampaign.wordpress.com/

Thank you again and we look forward to seeing everyone in October.

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