Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Liverpool IWW Agrees Safer Spaces Policy

The following is a repost from the Liverpool IWW blog:

At our branch meeting last week, Liverpool IWW agreed a safer spaces policy. In doing so, we’re declaring that we aim to make our online and real life spaces safer for all, and especially oppressed and marginalised sections of the working class. We are doing this because it is the decent thing to do, and also because we are conscious that discriminatory and oppressive behaviour works to exclude working class people we should be in solidarity with. In other words, “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house”.
 
We have taken this decision in the light of the motion put forward by FWs in the US, to get a safer spaces policy in the IWW constitution. Whether or not this policy passes in the global member referendum, we in Liverpool will aim to put into practice our own version, which only differs in terms of details specific to us.

The policy:
Liverpool IWW is committed to the emancipation of the working class. The working class is diverse and, as a branch, we realize that oppression is many-layered. As such, we strive to keep our common places* free from oppressive action, behavior and language.

These oppressive actions and words include but are not limited to: racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and any expression of disrespect and/or intolerance of size, gender identity, sexual identity/expression, (dis)ability, age, educational level, and cultural background. Because we want to learn from and educate each other, we will each be responsible for addressing these issues in ourselves and others. This policy is not about censorship, but rather opening a dialogue in a respectful way that can result in all members feeling safe and free to fully participate in their union’s activities.
If a member feels this policy is being / has been violated, the following steps should be taken:

1. Reference the policy to the whole group: for example, “In Liverpool IWW, we have a ‘Safer Spaces Policy’ which all members are mutually responsible to uphold. I feel this policy has been violated by talk of ‘[comments made].’ Please keep the Safer Space Policy in mind.”

2. If the policy is still being violated, the issue should be brought up to the person in violation directly and/or the chair, an officer, a delegate, or a member whom you would like to act as an advocate on your behalf so that an effective plan of action can be instituted [this ties in with survivor-led processes already incorporated into the IWW constitution].

3. If you have no allies locally and invoking the ‘Safer Space Policy’ fails, reach out to the Gender Equity Committee for assistance via GEC@IWW.org.

If a member feels like this policy is being violated and is uncomfortable bringing this up personally, they are encouraged to seek an ally of their choosing to advocate for them. In a meeting, a person can ask for a point of personal privilege to take a break and discuss this with the necessary parties. Meeting chairs, officers, delegates, and members should be conscious of this policy and address issues as they arise.

*this shall be defined as any meeting, event (including trainings, celebrations, social gatherings, etc.), and includes Liverpool IWW-linked online spaces

Monday, October 13, 2014

Huge Kurdish Anti-ISIS Demo Floods Liverpool Streets

The huge march marking its way down Lord Street
Around three hundred Kurdish people plus a handful of supporters took over entire streets in Liverpool city centre this afternoon, as they demonstrated their opposition to ISIS and their enablers in the Turkish government.

Despite avowedly being part of a US-led anti-ISIS military coalition in the region, the Turkish military has aided the reactionary group, and are grateful for their assistance in suppressing Kurdish people in Kobanê, part of the autonomous Rojava region of what is officially Syria.

The protest began with a relative handful of people at the Victoria monument on Derby Square. After maybe an hour of rousing speeches and chanting, the by now enormous crowd decided to begin a long, slow march through key parts of Liverpool city centre. Along the way, many passers-by applauded, and some joined in when they heard what the cause was.

Despite a large and intimidating police presence at Derby Square for a non-violent demonstration, authorities eventually seemed to agree a hands-off approach, even apparently arresting someone who threw a missile at the demonstration on Bold Street. By that stage, however, the gathering was so large that it completely covered the road down that long road, and it was clear that any attempt at repression would need a massive - and considering current UK foreign policy, politically embarrassing - operation. Two sit-downs in the middle of Lord and Lime Streets met with no visible police action.

Support for the autonomous Rojava cantons' revolution continues to grow worldwide, with many particularly inspired by images and reports of women leading the fight against ISIS. This was one of the biggest demonstrations in Liverpool for a few years, and certainly the most spontaneous, energetic, and friendly. It was also brilliantly organised for such short notice, with stewards the length of the march distributing English language leaflets to bemused onlookers.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

The Siege of the Kobanê Commune

Freedom fighters who battled IS in Kobanê
The state siege in and around the majority Kurdish city of Kobanê is a horrific event, which strengthens the position of the brutal Islamic State, and constitutes a humanitarian catastrophe. But more than this, Kobanê is one of three 'cantons' which declared their autonomy last year, as part of the Kurdish 'Rojava revolution' (Rojava being the part of Kurdistan which lies within the borders of the Syrian state). In each of these communes, the population are engaged in a long term socialist project to build equality and freedom. But before this week, few in the UK and wider western left had heard of this process. We owe it to the martyrs of Kobanê - and ourselves - to educate each other, and offer solidarity where we can.

Even by its own standards, the US policy towards Iraq, Syria, Iran and Turkey - the four states which contain Kurdistan - is extremely complicated at the moment. Obama claims his motivations are humanitarian, and this current military campaign was initially justified by concerns that IS would wipe out another group of Kurds - the Yazidis trapped on Mount Sinjar.

But since August, the mission has creeped - as it was surely always intended to do, considering Obama sought war in Syria just over year ago. The US and its allies are effectively now at war with IS - a state whose very existence all coalition partners bear at least some degree of responsibility for. The coalition says it is targeting IS across Iraq and Syria, where a conflict between US-led forces and the Assad regime will inevitably be manufactured. The driving impulse behind all this is not disgust at atrocities carried out by Assad, but the need to establish control over the whole oil-rich region, and knock down business partners of the Chinese and the Russians - the US's main rivals on the 'grand chessboard'.

Considering all this, you might think the US would compel neighbouring Turkey compel to destroy IS around Kobanê, or do the job itself. But no. The US and Turkey are terrified of the example which the majority-Kurdish cantons set. Turkey is particularly afraid because Kurdish nationalism has been a thorn in its side ever since the modern state's borders were artificially drawn up in the aftermath of World War One. But more than this, all powers fear the example of something approaching socialism. And far better - from their perspective - to let current bogeyman IS do the dirty work of nipping this flower in the bud. This explains the Turkish military sitting on its hands while a force it is ostensibly at war with takes over a city on its border. In return for opening up the border for Kurds crossing to Rojava, Turkey is demanding the dismantling of the autonomous cantons, loyalty to the 'Free Syrian Army' and the establishing of a "buffer zone".

So what is so terrifying about this example? Well, for various reasons, details are hard to find. But in August, RoarMag reported the following bottom-up, federal structure as spreading through Turkish and Syrian Kurdistan:
'Jongerden and Akkaya note that “the free municipalism model aims to realize a bottom-up, participative administrative body, from local to provincial levels.” The “concept of the free citizen (ozgur yarttas) [is] its starting point,” which “includes basic civil liberties, such as the freedom of speech and organization.” The core unit of the model is the neighborhood assembly or the “councils,” as they are referred to interchangeably. There is popular participation in the councils, including from non-Kurdish people, and whilst neighbourhood assemblies are strong in various provinces, “in Diyarbakir, the largest city in Turkish Kurdistan, there are assemblies almost everywhere.” Elsewhere, “in the provinces of Hakkari and Sirnak … there are two parallel authorities [the KCK and the state], of which the democratic confederal structure is more powerful in practice.” The KCK in Turkey “is organized at the levels of the village (köy), urban neighbourhood (mahalle), district (ilçe), city (kent), and the region (bölge), which is referred to as “northern Kurdistan.”'
Speaking specifically of the Rojava side of things, Anarkismo this week told how:
"Aiming at decentralizing decision-making and realizing self-rule, village- or street communes consisting of 30-150 households have been organised. These communes decide on questions regarding administration, electricity, provision of nutrition, as well as discussing and solving other social problems. They have commissions for the organisation of defence, justice, infrastructure, ecology, youth, as well as economy. Some have erected communal cooperatives, e.g. bakeries, sewing workshops or agricultural initiatives. They also organise the support of the poorest of the community with basic nutrition and fuel. Delegates of the communes form together a council for 7-10 villages or a city-district, and every city has yet another city council. The city council is made up of representatives of the communes, all political parties, the organisation of the fallen fighters, the women’s organisation, and the youth organisation. All councils as well as the communes have a 40% quota for women. The decisions are to be made on basis of consensus and equal speaking-time is enforced. Besides this, a co-chairperson system has been implemented for all organisations, which means that all councils have both a female and male chairperson. All members are suggested and elected by the population."
Tearing down borders: Kurds from Turkey and Syria have united against IS
This vast political change has been ascribed to imprisoned PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) leader Abdullah Öcalan, who is said to have abandoned his version of Leninism after reading the works of the late US libertarian socialist Murray Bookchin. Certainly, Öcalan's popularity remains strong amongst sections of poor Kurds, and this is mirrored by the photos of Kurdish solidarity protesters carrying pictures of him over the last few days.

But this can't be all there is to it. After all, if the majority of Kurds were well-served by the development of capitalism, and the provision of the states within whose borders they live, Öcalan's proposed experiment' would not have got off the ground. And if it were not practically possible - either due to the much fabled 'human nature' beloved of capitalist philosophers, or lack of sufficient material resources - it would not have taken hold in the way that it has.

Though some have made comparisons to the Zapatistas, my readings this week have brought to mind other great movements of the oppressed. Firstly, I thought of the Paris Commune - how poor people made even poorer by a war in which they had no stake rose up and took control of their city. Next, I considered parallels and differences with the Spanish Revolution. For one thing, major powers allowed Franco, Hitler, and yes, even Stalin to play their parts in strangling that uprising, rather than do the bloodletting themselves. But unlike Kobanê, revolutionary Spain was not left isolated. Working class fighters from around the world rallied to defend the gains that had been made, recognising that their struggles were one and the same.

Today a message sent by someone in Kurdistan could reach us in the blink of an eye. So why didn't we in the British and Irish left even really know about this until recently, never mind do a thing in solidarity? The complexity of the geopolitics involved may play a role (it took me more than 300 words to sketch it as simply as I could). The limited global reach of the Kurdish language might also factor.

But far more important, I think, is the fact that unlike in the 1930s for example, there isn't a working class movement to speak of in our part of the world. Struggles break out here and there, but they are quickly isolated and repressed by trade union leaders and cops. Massive social pressures seem close to widespread eruption, but this isn't enough in of itself to create the kind of class consciousness necessary for many in Britain and Ireland to peer into the murk that is Middle Eastern politics, and identify with the struggles of Kurdish toilers. Of course, so many of us in these countries are 'anti-war', as in we don't want to pay for 'our' soldiers to fight and die overseas. The experiences of Bush Jnr and Blair's Iraq invasion proved to us that no good and much harm must follow this. But they also taught us that even getting millions onto the streets can't stop the politicians spilling 'blood for oil'. And without that class consciousness, we can't collectively envisage anything better.

So what can we do? Well, we can honour those autonomous solidiers who fight and fought IS in Kobanê, and those who continue to fight for equality throughout Kurdistan, as well as everyone rising in solidarity with them throughout the world. We can research and tell others in the 'left' and in our general lives about the commune-based example set in the autonomous Kurdish areas. And of course, we continue to fight our own battles, as a necessary stage in developing class consciousness. Most practically in the immediate term, we can donate to the fund set up in solidarity with Turkish anarchist group DAF. In addition, the Middle Eastern Feminist Facebook page has compiled a list of suggested ways to help.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

*CN – Violence against Women* Solidarity with FW Rory MacKinnon and Survivors of Domestic Violence

The following is a repost from the Liverpool IWW blog:

Liverpool IWW wholeheartedly welcomes the statement made this week by Clydeside wobblies, and supports their call for a boycott of the Morning Star. We stand in full solidarity with FW Rory MacKinnon, who was suspended (and effectively forced to resign) by the paper, for investigating the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union bureaucracy’s suppression of domestic violence allegations against their assistant general secretary, Steve Hedley.

Click here for the rest of the statement.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Liverpool Rise for Palestine Respond to Mayor Joe Anderson

Liverpool Rise for Palestine have released a statement in response to the Liverpool Echo's sensationalist coverage of their protest outside Mayor Joe Anderson's Old Swan home. The Echo published much of it, but here is the original:

Mayor Anderson is indignant at the protest outside his house on Friday 12 September, and accuses us of ‘intimidation and thuggery’ (your report 13 September). Liverpool City Council has prevaricated over the use of G4S as a security contractor, and Liverpool Rise for Palestine organised the protest to demand real action. We see it as a simple matter: just sever those G4S contracts as a gesture of support for the people of Palestine. G4S provides services and equipment to Israeli prisons, checkpoints, the Apartheid Wall and the Israeli police. Liverpool Rise for Palestine pays no heed to G4S declarations that a review has cleared it of breaching human rights in Palestine: the whole of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, its detention of over 7,000 Palestinian prisoners at any one time, is a breach of the human rights of the Palestinian people. G4S is part of an apparatus of ruthless repression of the Palestinian people – but as a bloated parasite it does not care where or how it makes its money.

Liverpool Rise for Palestine was presented with a hard choice: should we escalate the protest over the City Council’s use of G4S, or let matters lie? Mayor Anderson will shortly be full of ‘hard choices’: it will be his cop-out when he demands massive cuts in services and jobs across the city for the fifth year running. These are the real acts of ‘intimidation and thuggery’: they destroy people’s lives and break up families. He will cry and wring his hands and say how terrible his position is, but he will do whatever the government requires. ‘Hard choices’ has become his, and the political class’s, euphemism for savaging the conditions of the working class on the one hand, while keeping hold of its own privileged position on the other.

Liverpool Rise for Palestine will continue to make ‘hard choices’, but they will be ‘hard choices’ on behalf of the people of Palestine rather than on behalf of a discredited privileged elite. We demand: end the contracts with G4S!

My Personal Manifesto for the 2015 General Election (Work in Progress)


Back in May I announced that I'd be standing in next year's general election, as Class War candidate for Liverpool Riverside. Last week I shared my answers to questions asked by the Candidate Hub website. Today I'm sharing my current list of policies (Class War in general have their own here).

The policies are the result of brainstorming with my 'closest advisers'. They range from the fundamental and serious to the fun, and my plan is to collect new ones on the doorstep, but feel free to suggest new ones!

So, in no particular order, here they are:
  • Hunger Games, just with politicians
  • A pet owl for everyone who wants one
  • Bring back lollypop people
  • Royalty to clean public toilets
  • No student fees/re-instate grants
  • Abolition of parliamentary elections
  • All cuts immediately reversed
  • More, free of charge, trains and buses
  • Confiscate wealth of banks and bankers
  • More trees and flowers and shit in concrete-dominated areas
  • More cats, less rats
  • Legalise shooting fascists like in the war
  • Ban private landlords
  • All working class personal debts written off
  • Install anti-rich spikes in mansions and palaces
  • Close Yarl's Wood and all 13 migrant detention centres
  • Free fruit and veg for all
  • Wages for housework
  • Collectivised childcare
  • Swimming pool on every street
  • Paulo Freire schools
  • Wages for carers
  • Free solar panels for every roof
  • Tony Blair tried for war crimes
  • UK troops out of every nation, put to useful work at home

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Pro-Palestine Campaigners Visit Home of Liverpool Mayor

The view from inside (pic: @JoeforLiverpool)
Campaigners from the Liverpool Rise for Palestine group protested outside the home of Mayor Joe Anderson yesterday evening, angered by his Labour council's links with G4S. The notorious security company stand accused of atrocities within the Israeli prison system.

From information provided by Anderson himself on his Twitter account, it seems that around twenty protesters gathered outside his home for around an hour last night.

At around 7:47 pm, the mayor tweeted:

"Friends of Palestine [sic] demonstrating at my house for last 30 mins shouting abuse bullying and scaring my 84 year old Mother in law. " 

Not surprisingly, Rise for Palestine themselves had a very different take on the event. Their Facebook page posted:
"Joe Anderson took this photograph from his window tonight of our protest at his house for being the chair of the cabinet that gave G4S the contracts with Liverpool City Council. He and the council has known about G4S for years. He calls us abusive and intimidatory but doesn't have a problem with giving contracts to companies that literally provide equipment that locks thousands of Palestinian prisoners in jails. As if the Israeli soldiers don't kidnap Palestinians from their homes, at check points, in the street. As if the soldiers don't break and smash Palestinian homes in raids. As if Palestinians every day aren't going through the brutal processes of interrogation and torture in detention centres and prisons. As if Palestinians are being detained without charge or trial. As if sham military courts don't postpone and postpone court dates. This is what Anderson and Liverpool City Council supports. The brutal and racist policies of Israel's colonial prisons. What we are demanding is that the contract is broken today. Not weeks, months or years from now. TODAY."
As Israel rained death and destruction on Gaza this summer, Anderson struck a neutral pose, despite the massively lopsided balance of forces  At the end of July, he called a "peace vigil" at St George's Plateau. In announcing the event he stated:

"Whatever the issues, whoever started it and whichever side people see themselves on, surely we can agree that children should not, and must not, be victims of war? It cannot be right that children are at risk of their lives, frightened or being made homeless. Our diverse communities coming together in recognition of this will be a simple act of humanity. We are seeing daily images broadcast on the news, social media and the newspapers of children crying, frightened, injured and dead. They are too difficult to watch without doing something or saying something." [emphasis added]

Of course, when 2, 143 Palestinians were killed, as opposed to a mere 6 civilians in Israel, this neutrality is a cover for siding with the oppressor. Liverpool's Labour group has a particularly strong link with Israel's Zionist agenda. MPs Louise Ellman (Riverside), Luciana Berger (Wavertree) and Stephen Twigg (West Derby) have all held high positions within Labour Friends of Israel. Labour's Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy formerly chaired the group.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

My General Election Profile for Candidate Hub


Support The Class War Party from Lil Onorth on Vimeo.

A few weeks back, Candidate Hub asked me a bunch of questions about my election campaign next year. The answers will go up on their website when they've got more answers, but this is what I told them.

1. Obviously our goal is to strengthen the relationship between voters and candidates, but what do you plan to do in order to make sure you remain ‘in touch’ with the electorate?
I'm not going to win the election. My Labour opponent will. If by some miracle I did win, I'd take a wage equal to the average income in the constituency (donating the rest to working class solidarity causes), and refuse to take any expenses, and continue to live in the constituency. Perhaps more importantly, I'd continue to take part in local working class activism.

2. What makes you the best candidate for this constituency?  
I'm probably not the best candidate for this constituency. There are possibly hundreds or thousands of people living here who might do better. But I'm certainly the best candidate who will be on the ballot paper. Why? Because I've not ever had an easy life, and it's getting harder and harder during this unrelenting class war of the rich. Because I therefore believe that working class people need to fight back, in their workplaces and in their streets. Because I would never vote for a single cut to working class living standards, and I would use the Westminster soapbox to promote the one solution - revolution.

3a. What has the current Member achieved that you believe has been successful? (The incumbent will be asked: "What would you have liked to have done differently during your time in Parliament?")
I see from Louise Ellman's profile on theyworkforyou.com that she has voted strongly for equal marriage and a hunting ban. I certainly don't oppose those things. That's about it though.

4. In your opinion, is austerity working? What should we take from the state of the economy during this Government’s tenure?
What the media and politicians call 'austerity' is the legalised, government-organised robbery of working class people on behalf of the rich scum who triggered the big recession of several years ago in the first place. The richest 1,000 people had their wealth increased by 15% in 2013, as our living standards continue to plunge, and our futures are sold off. So yes, what people call 'austerity' is certainly working for the richest people - who all the parties represent in one way or another. It is utter ruin for the rest of us.

5. Does (legal) immigration need more limitations or is it vital for the UK?
There should be no limitations on migration from anywhere to anywhere. Many migrants come to the UK as a direct result of wars waged by our government, or because of economic policies which benefit the UK rich. But even if that weren't the case, it makes no more sense restricting migration from say Afghanistan to the UK than it does from England to Wales. Borders are completely artificial, and people should be able to move wherever they think they will be the most happy. Basically, the problem is the rich and their system, not the even-poorer-than-you.

6. Many people are concerned with the cost of living in the UK, with wages having failed to rise in line with the price of food, energy and rent in recent years. How can this be corrected?
Nothing that the other parties propose could correct this, even if they wanted to...and they don't. Wages failing to rise in line with prices means bigger profits for the rich, and much more desparation and deprivation for the rest of us. This is capitalism working well for those at the top. The solution to this is working class people uniting in workplaces, and struggling together to win a better living standard for us all. Eventually, we should reorganise things so that we cut out the capitalists entirely, and live our lives in our own interests.

7. How would you like to see the NHS change in the future in order to become more successful?
The best way of improving the NHS would be removing the profit motive from it entirely, giving it massively more funding, hugely increasing the pay of those who work in it, and let them make their own decisions about how it is run.

8. What measures do you think need to be taken to decrease unemployment, particularly youth unemployment and those who have never been employed?
Unemployment should be abolished. It exists entirely because the rich want to squeeze as much profit as they can out of everyone. And the JSA sanctions regime worsened by successive governments exists to frighten and discipline those in paid work. If the wealth of the super-rich scum was confiscated, everyone who is able to work could be given well-paying, fulfilling work. Eventually, 'work' as we know it today could easily be abolished, with all the nasty jobs done by robots and computers!

9. Does the lack of diversity in Parliament equate to a lack of representation?
The short answer is yes! Women don't even account for a quarter of MPs, and people of colour are less than one in twenty in the Commons, compared to more than one in ten of the population. There are extremely few out lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer MPs. This represents how these demographics are underrepresented in this country's ruling class.

I can't find what the average worth of an MP is, but once the high wage and the expenses are added to an almost always wealthy background, we can see that the average MP is white, male, straight and filthy rich. Can the 'average person' ever be represented by these people, or will they run things in their own interests? Everyone knows the answer to that question.

10. If an EU Referendum were to take place, how would you encourage your constituents to vote and why?
The EU is a club run by and for the richest Europeans. In recent years especially, the bankers have used it to devastate working class lives across the continent. Having said that, the UKIP/Tory eurosceptic rich want to leave because it does - at least in theory - give working class people some protections, and places some tiny restrictions on the City of London. I don't think it's possible to have a decent society under this capitalist European Union, but things won't change for the better unless we replace it with a European Soviet Union!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Noisy Pro-Palestine 'Day of Rage' Shakes Liverpool's Busiest Streets

Photo: Palatino Linotype
With Liverpool Friends of Palestine taking part in the Stop the War Coalition's London demonstration, Liverpool Rise For Palestine continued to build on their excellent local momentum yesterday. Around one hundred and fifty people toured Israel-supporting shops, and loudly held them accountable for their supporting role in the ongoing Gaza slaughter, as part of the global Day of Rage for Gaza.

As the Rise For Palestine Facebook page reported:

"We had the energy and life that we need to have to fight for justice and to play our part to ensure the BDS movement continues to grow in this city (and country). We marched and chanted outside 2 different Tescos, Marks and Spencer, H&M, occupied Schuh for a short while, Starbucks, Sainsbury's and Barclays who already had police outside because we had occupied it the previous week. We had people join our demonstration after seeing or hearing us in the street."

With plans already being drawn up for next weekend's activities, this upstart group looks set to continue putting down roots in the Toxteth area in particular, and the city generally.

Click here for many more photos of the protest.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Liverpool Pro-Palestine Demonstration Occupies Barclays Bank

Trade at M&S was severely disrupted twice
Today Liverpool saw its sixth major demonstration in support of Palestinians since Israel's genocidal 'Operation Protective Edge' began three and a half weeks ago. Hundreds rallied outside BBC Radio Merseyside, before a sizeable splinter group went off around town, targeting Israel-supporting corporations, including Barclays, which they briefly occupied.

The new Liverpool Rise For Palestine group - which is primarily growing out of the multi-ethnic Toxteth area of the city - met up at the bombed-out St Luke's church, where children had their faces painted with fake blood, and placards were exchanged. They marched down Bold Street and onto Hanover Street, where the local BBC studios spread pro-Israel distortions. There, the Rise For Palestine group met up with the demo called by Liverpool Friends of Palestine. Over the course of an hour and a half, the crowd of around two hundred listened to speeches in the pouring rain.

Eventually, Liverpool Rise For Palestine decided to spread their anti-Israel, pro-BDS message around the main shopping areas. The first stop was Schuh, which stocks Caterpillar footwear, and then it was on to Marks & Spencer. Since the store occupation of 24th July, M&S have been quick to lock all but one entrance at the first sight of a Palestinian flag, and this was no exception. The Securitas guard who assaulted an eleven year old girl ten days ago was at the door, and she courageously confronted him over the megaphone, calling on him to come out and apologise. Needless to say, he wasn't brave enough to do this, and retreated into the store.

The group then moved on to Barclays on Lord Street. This space was occupied for around five minutes, in protest against the bank's profitable links with the murderous Zionist regime. Shouts of 'shame' rang out against the company, as a speaker detailed how they make a killing from the deaths of Palestinians.

From this point on, the roaming protest had police company (presumably summoned by Barclays security staff). This "facilitation" continued throughout a large part of the Liverpool One shopping complex, and back out onto Lord Street. The final stop was another go at M&S.

Until there's a lasting ceasefire, large protests will no doubt continue in Liverpool. But Rise For Palestine seems like it is putting down roots in a community, which could survive until Palestine is free "from the river to the sea".

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