Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Palestine Supporter Sentenced

On Tuesday 13 September Paul Donnachie, former student and supporter of Palestinian rights, was sentenced to 150 hours community service and a payment of £300 compensation to an American Jewish student for his criticism of the state of Israel and its flag. Sheriff Charles MacNair oversaw this attack on free speech at Cupar Sheriff Court.

Donnachie's conviction on the ridiculous charge of 'racially-aggravated conduct' in August, which resulted in his immediate expulsion from St. Andrews university, is further evidence of the increasing intolerance of the British state towards criticism of its policies at home and abroad. The detainment of Sheik Raed Salah on 28 June 2011 was another example. The British state fear that criticism of the racist state of Israel might further expose British complicity in the oppression of the Palestinians and therefore have no option but to stamp it out.

Supporters of Palestinian rights determined to oppose this criminalization responded to a call by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) for a picket of the court and defaced the Israeli flag outside the court in an act of political defiance. The Glasgow Defence Campaign applauds this action but stresses the need to remain on guard as the state may use this to bring future charges against those involved. Delayed arrests and charges were used against GDC supporters in April 2011 with the imposition of draconian bail conditions preventing their attendance at a rally to oppose the cuts and political policing on 16 April.

At all times we must be prepared to defend ourselves and others against state attacks! We would like to send our solidarity to the former student, who is appealing the sentence, and urge supporters of Palestine to speak louder in their condemnation of Zionist Israel than ever before.

See the SPSC press release here

No comments:

Post a Comment