Shut It Down for Palestine

Three weeks is a long time in politics – or certainly it is for Glasgow City Council.
As part of an international call out to ‘Shut it down for Palestine’, five Glasgow residents disrupted a Glasgow City Council ‘State of the City Economy’ conference. The event featured a panel with two weapons companies based in Glasgow and directly connected to supplying Israel with arms- manufacturers, BAE Systems and, technology company, Leidos.
Challenging the hypocrisy of the City Council hosting weapons suppliers just three weeks after passing a motion to call for a ceasefire and condemn the collective punishment of Palestine, the protestors called for Glasgow to stop enabling the arming of Israel and transition the city’s cconomy away from weapons manufacture and towards addressing climate breakdown.




You can get involved with Shut it Down for Palestine HERE and check out TOOLKITS.

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  1. Daniel Raphael says:

    Thank you, Michael. Unlike the wretched tool of “the West” that Ukraine has become, the Palestinians have no billions supporting, protecting–or arming–them. we have only ourselves and each other. However, when we really do get resolute and rise from our chairs…well, then we get a glimpse of where *our* power is. Let’s exert–and expand this!

  2. Madeline Usher says:

    Childish performative nonsense. Not serious politics or people.

    1. What seems to be the problem Madeline?

      1. Madeline Usher says:

        Tacit support for prescribed terrorist groups for a start.

        1. That’s a disgraceful thing to say, the protestors were doing no such thing, as you know

        2. John says:

          Madeline – Hamas are a proscribed terrorist organisation not prescribed unless a GP has written them as a terrorist organisation to be taken twice daily with or after food.

          1. Madeline Usher says:

            Pedantry is playing the man not the ball.

            The point stands; these protesters (and this blog) are giving succour to an insane theocratic terrorist group. Where is the recognition or critique of Hamas’s core beliefs. The right to protest would not exist in the state Hamas want to create.

          2. No-one is giving succour to any terrorist group.

        3. Drew Anderson says:

          @Madeline Usher,

          “Pedantry is playing the man not the ball…”

          No it isn’t, “pedantry” is being overly concerned with minor details or rules.

          You could argue that, since its fairly obvious what you meant, no correction was needed. But, as “prescribed” (≈ recommend) and “proscribed” (= forbidden) have dramatically different meanings, the correction was merited.

          You should be thanking John, not deflecting.

    2. Wul says:

      To my eyes, it’s the people remaining in the audience who look childish.

      Sitting there embarrassed, ashamed, downward-looking and infantile as someone who is mature, adult and sane enough to point out the hypocrisy in the room is ejected.

      More power to all those who stand against death-manufacturing as a “business”.

      1. Satan says:

        The right to protest against Hamas (or vote, by the looks of things) doesn’t currently exist in Gaza under Hamas. They are as much part of the problem as Isreal. With the destruction of Gaza and 250,000 displaced Isrealis, the future looks grim. Given that, Hamas did apparently get elected by running on an anti-corruption platform rather than advertising their compulsory Jihad clause, and they may be as unpopular in Gaza as Netenyahoo is in Isreal.

    3. SleepingDog says:

      @Madeline Usher, on the contrary, these speeches are classically Socratic (Socrates was the ancient Greek gadfly-midwife philosopher who accosted people often in public forums like the Athenian Agora and asked them difficult and challenging questions that may lead to changing minds and gaining wisdom, according to accounts). In Plato’s Republic, there are quite similar dialogues about issues of the moment, the predations of militarism, the virtue of courage. Serious, political, grown-up stuff indeed.

      1. Madeline Usher says:

        Plato is not the guy you should be referencing when we’re discussing the attempted destruction of a democracy.

        1. SleepingDog says:

          @Madeline Usher, the slave-owning Athenian democracy was exceptionally racist, belligerent and misogynistic, and its exclusive participatory model was quite different to what we name ‘democracies’ today. In executing Socrates, it set a lethal price on free speech, so accounts go. Plato, whose views on government I don’t hold, was nevertheless advocating dialogue as a means to discover the best form of government, hardly an assault on democracy. One of my many criticisms of Plato’s model government Republic was the suggestion to base it on a ‘noble lie’. Of course, the British Empire is based on many such lies, some of which (like terra nullius) were picked up by other settler colonists, including Israel.

          Plato, if memory serves, was more appreciative of Solon the Lawgiver, who in various accounts is credited with the Athenian Constitution; a political Constitution acts as a constraint on democracy (for example, by limiting the terms a public official can serve), and Solon apparently constitutionally outlawed various practices like pederasty.

          What your statement means, I don’t really know, or much care. My original point, as it should be obvious, was about the Socratic practice as traditionally applied, not about political goals. It’s a way of holding people accountable, but it works best when those people accept they should be.

  3. Wul says:

    There must be a name for any event, system, panel or discussion that can’t handle and respond to dissent or difficult questions.

    Fake? Brittle? Fragile? De-humanised? Unreal? Pretend? Performative?

    Why can’t the be-suited, expert, prosperous weapons-manufacturing big shots in the room give a reasoned response to simple questions about the morality of producing hardware for murdering children? Seems a down to earth, simple issue for such sophisticated communicators to address.

    1. SleepingDog says:

      @Wul, doomed.

  4. SteveH says:

    I’m puzzled. Iran is directly backing the Islamist Houthi extremists that has led to the death of 200,000 ~.400,000 Yemenis, yet not a murmur from the self righteous who obsess about the Gaza war, with a disturbing hatred of the jews.

    The same Iran who funds the Hezbollah and Hamas terrorist war machines, and barbarity and murder they have wrought.

    Then there’s the Syrian regime responsible for some 300,000 Syrian civilian deaths. Again, backed by Iran.

    So, Iran is guilty of more than 500,000 muslim deaths. Yet you performative activists do nothing, say nothing and expect the rest of us to admire your pro Palestinian stance. Shame on your hypocrisy. Shame on you. Shame on your luxury beliefs. It smacks of “white saviour” syndrome.

    The protests against BAE is also an act of madness. BAE are one of the reasons we have the means to defend ourselves against those who would destroy us.

    1. Satan says:

      The ‘burn your hijab’ movement appears to have recieved very little support from people who proport to be feminists in Britain. I guess that the rights of women in Islamic Republics isn’t of much interest.

      1. Niemand says:

        It is peculiar how little attention the terrible oppression and genuine misogyny going on in Iran gets from progressive circles. It is almost as if since Iran is an avoid enemy of the US and Israel, the old one’s enemy’s enemy is your friend trope kicks in. I follow the My Stealthy Freedom campaign and the daily humiliation women have to put up with beggars belief. And of course they also get regularly imprisoned and even murdered simply for not having their hair covered. Imagine living in a country where there is an actual thing called the Morality Police?

    2. John Learmonth says:

      You’ve forgotten to mention the 2 million Afghan refugees currently been forcibly expelled from Pakistan.
      No marches in solidarity for them.
      The anti-semitism on public show over the last few weeks beggars belief.

      1. Wul says:

        Just out of curiosity; When was the last time John Learmouth, Madeleine, SteveH or Santa took to the streets to show solidarity with these oppressed minorities for which you have concern? ( the women of Iran, the Afghan refugees, Yemeni people, Syrian refugees)


        1. John Learmonth says:

          Wul, (however you are as you don’t post under your actual name for whatever reason) just pointing out the hypocrisy.
          Personally I don’t march for any overseas cause as its nothing to do with me.
          That’s my personal opinion and thankfully I live in a free society where I’m able to express my opinion. Long may it remain.

          1. Wul says:

            “Personally I don’t march for any overseas cause as its nothing to do with me.”

            So, “It’s nothing to do with me” but “just pointing out the hypocrisy”


            “…thankfully I live in a free society where I’m able to express my opinion”

            I wonder if any of the freedoms you are so thankful for are the result of other people protesting against unfairness and cruelty? Marching for the right to vote? The right to assemble? The right to join a union? The freedom to hold and express views contrary to their rulers?

            Perhaps one of your ancestors stood on the sidelines making snidey comments about protestors too. It wasn’t anything to do with him after all.

        2. John Learmonth says:

          Wul, (however you are)
          The freedoms that both of us enjoy are down to young men laying down their lives in defence of western liberty which so many seem to take for granted as if free societies occur naturally.
          Something that the people standing up for ‘Palestine’ would happily take away from us.
          Your choice…….as once they’ve got their way and they wipe out the Jews guess who’s next on their list?

  5. John says:

    Reply to Madeline Usher comment of 08.34 26/11
    Madeline the definitions of proscribed (banned) and prescribed (positively advising to follow or use) are almost opposites.
    To make this error in the context of your post shows a lack of a full understanding of terms that are important in the context they are being used. To fail to acknowledge what may have been an honest but fundamental mistake and just accuse me of pedantry is, to quote your own words, rather childish.

  6. John says:

    I note the usual suspects are commenting on this thread and indulging in the usual whitabootery.
    Yes there are many horrific conflicts and oppression across the globe and these conflicts do not get the media attention they deserve. The conflict in Ukraine and Israel/Palestine are different for various reasons:
    1.High profile media attention leading to far greater public awareness.
    2.High profile response by western countries including Uk.
    3.Israel is a democratic country, a western ally and is in effect a European country in Middle East. 4.Israel is most powerful military country in Middle East and is heavily backed by USA – still the most powerful military in the world. Despite Hamas talking about eradicating Israel there is no conceivable possibility that they could possibly achieve this. Israel is openly calling for eradication of Hamas (doubtful under international law) but is actually indulging in collective punishment of Palestinians which is in contravention of international law and perpetrating war crime. There are sections of Israeli government openly calling for eradication of Gaza. As many innocent civilians have been killed in Gaza in 6 weeks as have been killed in Ukraine in nearly 2 years.
    5.This is critical point for many in this country and elsewhere in west – the USA and other governments are supporting Israel in perpetrating international war crimes (as Hamas did on 7/10) and it is these double standards that are not only causing unnecessary death and suffering but will have massive implications for how international law is perceived and adhered to in future. In short the democratic countries in west should be guarantors of international law and this involves calling out all nations that transgress (including allies) or they lose any moral authority.
    6.A ceasefire is the best (only) way to minimise killing of civilians on both sides, reduce hatred and help the seemingly increasingly difficult task of securing a long term peace for Israeli and Palestinian populations.
    I will add that my sympathies in all this extends to innocent civilians killed, held hostage or displaced in both Israel and Palestine.
    Lastly with regards to weapons manufacturers it is a fact that the more weapons there are manufactured and in circulation the more weapons there will be available for fighting wars all over the globe including Yemen etc.

  7. Niemand says:

    As you say, the hypocrisy is blatant but then I saw little in the passing of the motion to call for a ceasefire of value: empty grandstanding that in practice, means nothing and will effect no change. It could be argued that those calling for a pause (e.g. US, EU and UK) were on the right track as we have actually go that. In other words that call may have actually saved some lives. Neither Israel nor Hamas are going to unilaterally ceasefire so why sit in far flung lands demanding it? Pragmatics and realism really do matter in war; they are a matter of life and death.

    1. John says:

      Israel has received support of USA, UK and other western countries to pursue its attacks in Gaza which according to many UN and human rights lawyers have been in contravention of international law.
      If the western countries (especially USA) stated to Israel that they should ceasefire this would carry real weight and potentially alter Israel’s approach. If the public support a ceasefire this will influence the government’s in western countries. If the western countries call on both sides to ceasefire this may have less direct influence on Hamas but other will influence other Arab nations to put pressure on Hamas to ceasefire. How do you think we managed to get the current 4 day truce? this has been achieved by negotiation and pressure being applied on Hamas and Israel.
      The longer the current truce continues the greater the pressure on both sides to turn it into a permanent ceasefire which is first small step to achieving peace in the longer term.
      It is also doubtful that Hamas will be much of a military threat to Israel for the foreseeable future after the last 6 weeks.
      It is both therefore not just virtue signalling but both practical and morally justified for people in western countries including UK to call for a ceasefire.

      1. Niemand says:

        I don’t disagree. But what I would add is the current truce came about after calls from those big powers for a ‘pause’ and of course the real negotiations have been going on in Qatar. It is hard for us to say where the real influence for that (especially on Hamas) has come from. Like most I also hope the truce continues (it is for another couple of days as I write) and turn into a ceasefire so my overall sense is that the call for a pause was actually the better strategy. The big caveat is that none of it may have made much difference and it was what happened behind closed doors in Qatar that really mattered (and unless I have missed something, we don’t even know who was represented their but we must assume Israel and Hamas).

        1. John says:

          You are correct in that we will never be able to clearly know if the marches in many capitals had any effect.
          I think we can safely say that if there had been no marches there definitely would have been no effect!
          Lastly it generally acknowledged that there is political pressure within Israel to start fighting again and political pressure from outwith Israel to prolong truce.
          Why is the political pressure from outside Israel not to return to fighting growing?

          1. Niemand says:

            Because of all the mass human slaughter and general destruction.

            What we are talking about here is the best strategy to get it to stop. That may be multifaceted, and when does a prolonged pause become a ceasefire and at what point do you change from calling for a pause to calling for a ceasefire? In an negotiation it is best to call for what at first is realistic and take it from there to try and go further i.e. pause into prolonged pause into ceasefire.

            But the problem is both sides appear not to want a ceasefire because they want victory, or perhaps more correctly, they want to destroy the opponent. There are no grounds at the moment for negotiation out of that: Israel seems determined to erase the Hamas threat for good, no matter the human cost, and Hamas want the end of Israel completely and clearly hate Jews.

  8. Wul says:

    What I find so very, weird is that these alt-right trolls have the entire power/wealth establishment mobilised in line with their own world-view;
    The UK PM and cabinet
    UK Opposition leader
    UK tabloid media
    trash TV “News” stations
    Weapons manufactures
    Internet & tech barons
    Oil & gas producers….etc…

    …and yet they come on to small, low-circulation, independent fora to attack any message that contradicts their own garbled narrative.
    It’s almost as if they can not bear that any opinion but their own exists.

    Never a word of hope. Never a word of love.

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