Solidarity | 29.10.2004 11:44
Building Networks of Solidarity Against Colonialism in the Middle East and the “Clash of Civilisations”
Speakers' Tours of Grassroots Movements from the Middle East
Building Networks of Resistance Against the "Clash of Civilisations"
The Tour has begun! Two groups of grassroots activists from the Middle East are currently travelling throughout Europe until March, in order to spread information about the social movements that are taking shape to resist old and new forms of oppression and discrimination, ranging from the Israeli military occupation to patriarchy, from the suppression of sexual diversity to oil wars.
Each of the two groups includes 4 speakers (who are much more complex and interesting people than the short labels that follow): a Palestinian refugee from the International Solidarity Movement, an Israeli rebel, an activist from the new social movements in Lebanon, and a European activist with lots of direct experience in the Middle East. They are travelling together in order to expand, diversify and consolidate an action network for peace and solidarity in the Mediterranean.
We want to fight against the so-called "clash of civilisations" from the grassroots, by spreading information, broadening existing alliances, creating common projects, etc.
The groups will be visiting the following, in chronological order: Group A: France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, and Italy. Group B: Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Russia, France, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece and Malta.
So far, one group has already been touring Ireland and will come to Scotland for November 10-12 (Glasgow, Falkirk and Edinburgh)
We are currently looking for local groups to take on organising meetings/press work in England and Wales from Saturday 13th – Sunday 29th November
Our intention is that each group will visit an average of 4 towns each week, although this is flexible and depends on how many activities the local groups are planning. The intention of the tour is to extend contacts beyond the "usual suspects", we would love to meet all kinds of groups, such as feminists, environmentalists, queers, grassroots unions, students, squater, Palestine and Iraq solidarity groups, etc. We would also like to meet progressive people from more official circles (such as city council members, local members of parliaments, etc), and speak with the press.
We would expect local groups to organise one openly publicised public presentation (or more), one meeting with the press, and one or several meetings with local groups. We would also like to have meetings in schools or universities, if you think this is appropriate. We also need local groups to provide food and accommodation (in private houses it is fine, we don't have money for accommodation) and also need your help with the general costs of the tours.
We got a grant from the YOUTH programme of the EU for this project, but they will only cover 50% of the costs, and we cannot cover the rest without your help. We hope that local groups in each location that the tour visits in Western Europe will be able to contribute around 150 euros or more, to make it possible for groups in Eastern Europe to host the tour without having to give any contribution other than food and board. We also need you to provide translators from English to your language.
After the tours, in Easter 2005, there will be a final meeting where we hope that all groups visited during the tour will come to discuss common projects and the follow-up process.
If you are interested in organising UK meetings and publicity contact:
Ewa Jasiewicz 07749 421 576 (For England leg of the tour) Note: From November 4th to 9th please text this number only
La Casona de Ronzón
33637 Ronzón – Lena – Spain
Tel. +34 985 49 36 96
Fax +34 985 49 35 36
* Marhaba means hello in Arabic