‘Children on the Frontline’ Documentary film screening + discussion

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‘Children on the Frontline’ doc screening + discussion at London Action Resource Centre, Wednesday 9th April.

Doors open at 6.30 p.m. film starts at 7 p.m.

The Syria Peace & Justice group are hosting a film screening of “Children on the Frontline”, a recent documentary commissioned by Channel 4 which tells the story of five young children whose lives have been changed forever by the civil war in Syria. Following the film there will be an oppurtunity to discuss the issues raised in the film.

Here are some reviews of the film:
http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2014/jan/23/children-on-the-frontline-syria-review
http://www.broadcastnow.co.uk/children-on-the-frontline-c4/5065651.article

Syria Peace & Justice is an open, London-based non-sectarian grassroots group, formed in October 2013. We wish to promote a peaceful end to the terrible conflict in Syria and justice and human rights for all of its people. For more info, please visit: www.syriapeaceandjustice.wordpress.com

Venue: London Action Resource Centre, 62 Fielgate St (corner of Parfett St), London E1 1ES (Nearest tube: Whitechapel / Aldgate East / Aldgate)
Map: http://tinyurl.com/k3qajlh

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/484726721653269/?source=3&source_newsfeed_story_type=regular

Solidarity with the Women and Children of Syria: Report

by Catherine

On Saturday 8th March, eleven members of Syria Peace and Justice (including five women) attended the Million Women Rise march in central London on International Women’s Day, in solidarity with all those working to end violence against women and children across the world.Image

In particular, we wanted to show support for women and children from Syria affected by and seeking to end all forms of violence against them, whether living inside the country or as refugees in other countries.

The event was an opportunity to publicly emphasise the struggle of the region and raise awareness of the plight of the people. We carried placards expressing our support and concern and brought leaflets to hand out, which included an invitation to take action with us.*

We were a mixed group of women and men. At the assembly point just off Oxford Street, it turned out that men were not permitted to join the march proper. There was initially some hostility from an organiser regarding this male presence, but other organisers aided us in defusing the situation, and in the end the men were invited to show solidarity from the pavement.

Moments afterwards, we were asked to remove ourselves from the pavement by police officers, who suggested that we were creating an obstruction to pedestrians.  Once the above predicament was explained, the officers suggested that we retreat to the back of the march, ahead of the police van.  A few of us agreed, while others peaceably stayed put.

The march proceeded from Oxford Street to Trafalgar Square, with members of the public and marchers alike showing interest and support for us along the way.  Those of us who stuck to the pavement (i.e. the men and those women who had decided to remain with them) halted at a few points along the way. This assisted us in engaging with passers by, many of whom saw our placards and approached us for leaflets and additional information.

Once the march reached its destination in Trafalgar Square, most of our group mingled around the fountain as speeches were made from the stage. This provided another good opportunity for us to share information with fellow activists and members of the public. Overall, it felt like a successful afternoon’s networking and public engagement.

*The full text of the statement that we handed out on the day can be found at the end of this post

Click here for more images from the day

Next Syria Peace & Justice group event: Info evening, Wednesday 19th March

Our group’s next event is an information evening in Whitechapel on Wednesday, titled: “Peace and Justice in Syria: How Can It Be Achieved?” The evening will feature short films, talks by UK-based Syrians who have recently spent time with other Syrians based in the region affected by the conflict, and discussion. All are welcome to join this free event.

 For more details, click here

Syria Info Evening 19/03/14

children SyriaPeace + justice for Syria: How can it be achieved?

Wednesday 19th March 2014, 6.30-9.30pm

An evening of talks from UK-based Syrians, short films and discussion concerning the current conflict in Syria, with an aim of providing some objective clarity on the situation and addressing practical steps we can take to help achieve a just peace in the country.

 Venue: London Action Resource Centre, 62 Fielgate St (corner of Parfett St), London E1 1ES (Nearest tube: Whitechapel / Aldgate East / Aldgate)

Solidarity with Women of Syria this Sat + other upcoming events

This Saturday, 8th March, Syria Peace & Justice will be joining the Million Women Rise march in central London on International Women’s Day 2014, in support of women and children from Syria affected by and seeking to end ALL forms of violence against them, both inside the country and as refugees in other countries.*

We will meet at 11.45am outside Bond Street tube station (NOT the exit by the West One shopping centre, but the OTHER exit a bit further up, in the direction of Oxford Circus). Once assembled, we will move off to join the main assembly, where we will leaflet and mingle and hold up placards.

If you are running late, you can call me (Dan) on my mobile to find out where we are: 07506 234 091. (Please call rather than text, if possible.)

Hope you can join us.

*See below for the text we will be handing out on the day.

Other upcoming Syria Peace & Justice events for your diary:Wednesday 12 March – Next Syria Peace and Justice group planning meeting at
London Action Resource Centre, 62 Fieldgate St (corner of Parfett St), Whitechapel, 6.30pm for 7pm start, until approx. 9pm.

Wednesday 19 March – ‘Peace and Justice for Syria – How Can It be Achieved?’ – See below for further details.

Peace and Justice for Syria: How Can It Be Achieved?

Wednesday 19th March 2014, 6.30-9.30pm
Venue: London Action Resource Centre, 62 Fielgate St (corner of Parfett St), London E1 1ES
(Nearest tube: Whitechapel / Aldgate East  / Aldgate)
Map: http://tinyurl.com/k3qajlh

An evening of talks from UK-based Syrians, short films and discussion concerning the current conflict in Syria, with an aim of providing some objective clarity on the situation and addressing practical steps we can take to help achieve a just peace in the country.

In peace and solidarity,
Dan

http://syriapeaceandjustice.wordpress.com

E-mail: syriapeaceandjustice [at] gmail.com
Facebook: Syria Peace & Justice
Twitter: @syriapj

Text of flyer to be given out on Million Women Rise London march on International Women’s Day, 8th March 2014:

SOLIDARITY with the WOMEN of SYRIA

On International Women’s Day 2014, Syria Peace & Justice joins the Million Women Rise march in London calling for an end to all male violence, and in particular against women and children.

Since March 2011, women and men in Syria have been rising up against a violent and oppressive regime, in pursuit of their freedom, dignity, human rights and social justice. Women have faced the added challenge of overcoming oppressive patriarchal structures that seek to limit their free movement and expression.

While non-violent activists in Syria have struggled for liberation and change for the benefit of society as a whole, they have faced extreme violence and brutality by government and allied forces, as well as by opportunistic religious extremist factions, some of them of foreign origin. The latter have employed oppressive and violent means in order to pursue their political goals and enforce their ideologies.

In addition to the horrendous and frequently indiscriminate violence against women and children perpetrated by the forces of the government and its allies, women living in areas under the control of extremist factions face daily violations of their rights and struggle to meet their and their children’s essential needs. There is the constant risk of abduction, punishment for failure to abide by religious dress codes, and restrictions on access to education. Such repressive behaviour historically often leads to the total degeneration of rights for women and girls.

The situation for the people of Syria in general remains critical, with over 250,000 living under siege, 9.3 million in need of humanitarian assistance, and a further 2.5 million living as refugees, the vast majority of whom are women and children.

During times of conflict and disaster, violence against women and children tends to increase as oppressive social dynamics become more extreme. It is to be welcomed that in November 2012, the UK’s Secretary of State for International Development called for an end to violence against women and children in such situations, as is the UK Government’s Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative that sets out to end impunity for the use of rape as a weapon of war. There remains, however, a great need for further progress in this area.

We believe that the fundamental change needed in human society is essentially born of the choice to create an environment of a sustained and just peace. Join us as we aim to contribute to this process through a raising of awareness and encouraging conscious personal and societal progress, through peaceful individual and collective action. All those in sympathy with our aims are most welcome to join us.

Syria Peace & Justice

Report of our Peace Vigil and Walk on Saturday 1st March 2014

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In total there were seven of us who gathered for a one hour peace vigil in our regular spot outside the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. We assembled from 12:30pm to find the area heaving with people, not to mention major construction work for a Russian cultural event due to take place the following day.

It seems there were a lot of small demos planned for that same day. Several people stopped to ask us if we were part of the planned march against corruption to the Ecuadorian Embassy, supported by a diverse mix of different campaigners. We directed them to the south side of the Square, where the other demo were gathering…

After a short while it was decided to put aside the differences between our respective causes and for two peace brothers to take a walk around the square with our signs, stopping off at the march against corruption gathering to talk to them about our planned peace walk for that day.

While this demo were preparing to head to the Embassy in west London, the two of us made our way back to our own peace vigil. On the way we met some other people planning to head east, like ourselves, to the Occupy General Assembly. We told them about our planned peace walk from Trafalgar Square to St Paul’s Cathedral, and they told us they would catch up with us there.

By 1:30pm all participants for our peace walk for Syria had arrived and so we set off, weaving through the crowds, as we made our way east towards St Paul’s. On our way we passed street performers dressed as pirates and Jedi knights, and further on we encountered and spoke to a small protest against shark culling by the Western Australian government which was taking place outside Australia House, and seemed to include supporters of the environmental direct action group the Sea Shepherd.

We arrived at St Paul’s in good time, and arranged our banner along some railings. It wasn’t long before we fell into conversation with a lady from Occupy Faith who told us about the forthcoming film about their own recent “pilgrimage” they undertook (after the eviction of the Occupy LSX camp) from St Paul’s to Canterbury, walking the old route that Chaucer and countless pilgrims have taken since the 13th century, visiting different faith communities along the way and discussing contemporary issues of economic, social, and environmental justice.

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We got the chance to hear her address the Occupy GA, as did our peace brother Earthian (see here: https://bambuser.com/v/4404406), who talked about his personal peace pilgrimage and the situation in Syria. A more detailed report of the Occupy GA can be read on their website here: http://occupylondon.org.uk/occupy-revival-2-years-after-olsx-eviction/ During the course of the G.A. we were also joined by a fellow peace sister, and after the speakers had said their pieces we each broke up into smaller groups, with several members of SPJ joining in the discussions in the World Affairs group, and during “shout-outs” at the end several members of our group spoke to the gathered crowd.

On this day not only did we bring our message of peace for Syria to the streets of London, but we also had the opportunity to engage with a variety of other people committed in their own way to struggles for peace and justice in the wider world.

In peace,

Russ

Updated: 15th March 2014

Peace vigil & walk this Saturday + Check out our new media page!

This weekend we will carry out a vigil and walk in central London for a just peace for the people of Syria:

Saturday 1 MarchPeace vigil outside the National Gallery (12.30-1.30pm), followed by peace walk from Trafalgar Square to St Paul’s Cathedral, setting off at 1.30pm. Once we arrive at St Paul’s, we plan to mingle with Occupy London folks, who will be holding their General Assembly on the steps of St Paul’s from 3pm.

All are welcome to join us.

And check out our new Media page!

We have already uploaded some great short vids to this page, including coverage of our Peace Pilgrimage for Syria back in December and a recent interview with Syrian activist Majid Maghout.

Check back frequently for new content!
http://syriapeaceandjustice.wordpress.com/media

http://syriapeaceandjustice.wordpress.com

E-mail: syriapeaceandjustice [at] gmail.com
Facebook: Syria Peace & Justice
Twitter: @syriapj

Upcoming Syria Peace & Justice events

Please note the following upcoming events we are organising:

Saturday 1 MarchPeace vigil outside the National Gallery (12.30-1.30pm), followed by peace walk from Trafalgar Square to St Paul’s Cathedral, setting off at 1.30pm. Once we arrive at St Paul’s, we plan to mingle with Occupy London folks, who will be holding their General Assembly on the steps of St Paul’s from 3pm.

Saturday 8 March – We will show solidarity with the women of Syria as part of the International Women’s Day march in central London. Further details to follow.

Wednesday 12 March – Next Syria Peace and Justice group planning meeting, 6.30pm for 7pm start, until approx. 9pm, London Action Resource Centre, 62 Fieldgate St (corner of Parfett St), Whitechapel, London.

Wednesday 19 MarchInfo evening and discussion, with short film(s) and panel of Syrian speakers, 6.30pm to 9.30pm, London Action Resource Centre, 62 Fieldgate St (corner of Parfett St), Whitechapel, London.

More details of the above events to follow soon, so watch this space!

http://syriapeaceandjustice.wordpress.com

E-mail: syriapeaceandjustice [at] gmail.com
Facebook: Syria Peace & Justice
Twitter: @syriapj