Solidarity with Yusef

Yusef Asad was unjustly sentenced to two and a half years in Prison for defending himself from racists attacking a Palestine March in Cardiff in July 2014. He received the heaviest sentence despite only responding as racists at a pub started the violence throwing bottles, glasses and chairs at the demonstrators, who included young families.

Yusef welcomes letters of support.

Yusef Asad

A4424DD

HUNTERCOMBE PRISON

NUFFIELD

HENLEY-ON-THAMES

OXFORDSHIRE

RG05SB

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Anti-Israeli protestors set to fight assault allegations in court

Three people are fighting accusations that they assaulted police following a protest last year against the visit by Israeli Ambassador, Ron Proser, to the Welsh Assembly.   The assaults were alleged to have happened as the three were pushed to the ground by police, desperate to keep protestors away from the visiting dignitary.

Ron Proser, war criminal

Ron Proser, war criminal?

Ron Proser’s visit to the Senedd in June 2008 sparked controversy when a number of Assembly Members refused to meet him.  The presiding officer, Dafydd Elis-Thomas pointed to the extent to which Israel had ‘failed to meet its international obligations to the Palestinian people’.  Protests were called to coincide with Proser’s arrival at the assembly building. 

However, the ambassador’s arrival was carefully planned to keep him well away from any protest.  A decoy convoy of diplomatic cars was used to draw the protesters’ attention to the main public entrance of the assembly, while Proser himself arrived at the Pierhead Street entrance in a much less ostentatious vehicle. 

Anticipating such a tactic, a group of protesters had gathered in Pierhead street, determined that Proser should witness some of the protest against him.  However, just as he was arriving, the police moved in, apparently to prevent a ‘breach of the peace’.  Three people were thrown to the ground and arrested for assault.  One police officer alleges that he was kneed to the groin, a second that he sustained scratches to his wrist and a third that he was pulled to the floor.

The defendants have described these charges as pure fabrication, intended only to deter people from making any sort of effective protest at the assembly.  ‘I think we upset their plans to keep Proser away from the protests and because of that we were pushed, shoved, thrown to the floor and arrested for things we have not done’, said Val Swain, one of the people charged.  ‘But this is a man who has sanctioned war crimes against Palestine.  It doesn’t seem so unreasonable to me that he should be confronted with protests against the murderous regime he represents.’

The case will be tried at Cardiff magistrates court from the 20th April.  The trial is expected to last for four days.  At least one of the defendants potentially faces a custodial sentence due to the seriousness of the allegations, and it is possible that all three will be sent to prison if convicted. 

All the defendants would appreciate support when the case goes to trial in April.  Please send messages of support to val.swain@yahoo.co.uk .  Anyone able to spare a few hours to support the defendants in court during the trial would be very welcome. 

Trial dates: 20th – 25th April

Cardiff Magistrates Court

Contact for further info: val.swain@yahoo.co.uk

ALUN CAIRNS RESIGNS AS CHAIR OF ASSEMBLY PENSION FUND TRUSTEES

SOUTH WALES ANARCHISTS CLAIM VICTORY AS YET ANOTHER PENSION FUND SCANDAL EMERGES

 Following our revelations that the welsh arsembly members’ pension fund is being held in companies with appalling environmental and human rights’ records, chair of the pension scheme trustees, Alun ‘greasy wops’ Cairns has resigned.

another Tory twat bites the dust

another Tory twat bites the dust

End of story? Er, we don’t think so. Mr Cairns isn’t the only villain of the piece. There are, of course, four other trustees representing all the political parties who must have known as much or as little as Mr Cairns. Perhaps the lot of them should come clean and tell us exactly what they’ve been up to during their tenure as trustees? We’ll be sending a freedom of information question to the government requesting details of ‘meetings’ between trustees and Baillie Gifford Life Ltd, the Edinburgh-based partnership that manages members’ pensions. Watch this space, although we’ll probably be met with more porky pies from the freedom of misinformation team at the assembly.

But the story doesn’t end there. We’ve been in touch with the nice freedom of information officer at Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT), one of our favourite councils (see Gagged 24 and16) and we’ve learned that, coincidently, of course, Baillie Gifford, along with four other financial companies, manages RCT’s pension fund too! The assembly’s stash of £10.5 million pales into insignificance against RCT’s fund with a membership of 23,000 people. At the end of March 2008 the fund stood at £1.3 billion, with Baillie Gifford Asset Management holding £540 million.

 And, you’ve guessed it, many of the star performers in the arsembly fund feature in RCT’s. We asked specifically about money given to the arms and tobacco industries and were told the breakdown of holdings at 31st March 2007 in aerospace and defence was:

 BAE Systems            £2,908,645

Meggitt                        £3,305,736

Rolls Royce    £6,770,177

how many more Palestinian children will Israel murder?

how many more Palestinian children will Israel murder?

 

That wouldn’t be the same BAE Systems that supply Israel with parts for F-16 bombers currently being used to murder Palestinians, would it?

 

 

The breakdown of RCT’s holdings in tobacco was:

 British American Tobacco               £  6,252,715

Imperial Tobacco                              £10,838,441

Which, when added up, comes to £13 million to weapons manufactures and £17 million to tobacco barons.

By the end of March 2008 RCT’s investments in the arms trade had fallen to £9 million, following the sales of shares in arms companies including Lockheed Martin, worth £840,000 in 2006, and the sale of nearly £500,000 of shares  in our old friend, Raytheon (see Gagged 25). Investments in tobacco stood at almost £16 million.

Perhaps it’s time for the Pension Panel Members, which include council leader Russell Roberts and councillor Clayton Willis, to step up to the mark and account for their murderous investment decisions.

RCT councillor Roberts

RCT councillor Roberts

                                

RCT councillor Willis

RCT councillor Willis