London vigil to remember victims of al-Mab’ojah and all massacres in Syria

Syria Peace & Justice and friends will hold a vigil on Wednesday 15 April, from 6.30 to 8pm outside the National Gallery at the north end of Trafalgar Square.
 
We will remember the victims of all massacres in Syria, not least the 45+ people – a number of them women and children – brutally killed during the assault by the Islamic State on the village of al-Mab’ojah, near the city of Salamieh, Hama province, on 31st March, 2015.[1] We will also remember all the civilians and combatants on all sides killed, injured, displaced, kidnapped and tortured during the brutal 4-year-old conflict in Syria and express our hope that the fighting will come to an end soon.
 
Feel free to bring candles.
 
1. The death toll of the massacre committed by IS in al- Mab’ojah village rises to 45 people.
April 1, 2015 – Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
In peace, love and solidarity,
Syria Peace & Justice
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Syria Solidarity Night

Monday 1st December 2014, 5.30-9pm
London Action Resource Centre, 62 Fieldgate Street (Corner of Parfett Street), Whitechapel, London E1 1ES

Syria Peace & Justice is proud to present a fundraising evening in support of Syrian refugee children in Lebanon, including a screening of the recent feature-length eyewitness documentary Return to Homs, a Sail 4 Syria update, and a talk about the excellent work of Lebanon-based Syrian refugee support group Syrian Eyes.

Photo (c) 2014 Syrian Eyes

Photo (c) 2014 Syrian Eyes

We look forward to seeing you there. Bring all your friends, and don’t forget your wallet / purse!

Programme:

5.30pm: Doors open, snacks and hot and cold drinks;
6pm: Presentations about Syria Peace & Justice, Sail 4 Syria and Syrian Eyes;
6.45: Film: Return to Homs (90min), followed by discussion.

*ENTRY TO THIS EVENT IS FREE* – You are welcome to join this event even if you can’t afford to make a donation. All proceeds go towards our Syrian Eyes appeal (minus a donation to our hosts for use of the venue).

Further info:

syriapeaceandjustice [at] gmail.com

Facebook event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/313329742202874/?ref=4

Syria Peace & Justice – A London-based grassroots group working for peace, justice and human rights in Syria
https://syriapeaceandjustice.wordpress.com

Facebook: Syria Peace & Justice / Sail4Syria
Twitter: @syriapj / @sail4syria   #sail4syria

Sail 4 Syria updated departure details

Update: Sunday 13th July 2014

Maria and Simon set off from central London on their Sail 4 Syria odyssey to Lebanon yesterday afternoon.

After spending last night in South Dock in Rotherhithe, this afternoon they will continue eastwards past the Thames flood barrier in Woolwich.

Please support Maria and Simon in any way you can, such as by making a donation to Sail 4 Syria and/or the Syrian Eyes appeal.

Maria and Simon row off down the Thames from central London, 12 July 2014 - Image (c) 2014 D. Viesnik / Syria Peace & Justice)

Maria and Simon row off down the Thames from central London, 12 July 2014 – Image (c) 2014 D. Viesnik / Syria Peace & Justice)

*** More photos from Saturday’s departure from central London: ***

https://picasaweb.google.com/vd2012.pics/Sail4SyriaDepartureFromCentralLondon

http://www.demotix.com/news/5239889/sail-4-syria-starts-gabriel-wharf-london#media-5239857

Click here for a link to a video featuring interviews with Maria and some other Syria Peace & Justice group members.

#Sail4Syria supporters gather on the South Bank of the river Thames in central London on 12th July 2014. Credit: Syria Peace & Justice.

Syria Solidarity activists to sail from London to Beirut

 Sail4Syria duo to depart from the shore of the Thames at The South Bank (the beach next to Gabriel’s Wharf), London, Saturday 12th July 2014 at 3 p.m. (click here for map)
 
On Saturday 12th July, following several months of preparations, two peace activists, Maria Gallastegui and Simon Moore, will embark on a sailing voyage of over 3500 miles from London to Beirut, Lebanon.  This action is in solidarity with the people of Syria. They will travel aboard ‘Rumi‘: a 16-foot Wayfarer dinghy.
Maria Gallestegui on board 'Rumi'.  Sail designed and painted by artist Helyn Gulley.

Maria Gallestegui on board ‘Rumi’. Sail designed and painted by artist Helyn Gulley.

The aims of Sail4Syria (S4S), which is a project of London-based Syria Peace & Justice (SPJ) are as follows: [1]·
  • To show solidarity with people whose lives have been torn apart by the crisis in Syria, including those still living in war zones and besieged areas and the more than 2.5 million refugees dispersed mainly around neighbouring countries, including Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey;·
  • To build networks with and support grassroots organisations and communities inside and outside Syria working to address the serious humanitarian and societal issues created by the crisis, as well as those working non-violently for positive democratic change within Syria; [2]
  • To publicise our call for an end to the fuelling and intensifying of the conflict by various governments including UK, USA, Russia, Iran, Qatar, Saudia Arabia and Turkey who have been facilitating the flow of weapons and military equipment into the country to all sides, [3] and without taking their full share of responsibility for the ensuing humanitarian crisis. [4]

SPJ is calling for non-violent action to highlight and challenge the above behaviour and encourage a responsible, compassionate and peaceful approach to the Syria crisis from the international community.

The S4S team is seeking to link up with like-minded groups and individuals as it passes through various cities, towns and villages along its route.

SPJ and S4S will soon be announcing the sponsorship of a children’s activity project for Syrian refugee children, in co-ordination with Syrian Eyes. [2]  This will be published via the Syria Peace & Justice website.

For media enquiries or further information, please contact: syriapeaceandjustice [at] gmail.com

Tel:  Maria: +44 (0)7907 233 861;  Simon: +44 (0)7963 475 195;  or Dan (UK-based): +44 (0)7506 234 091/ +44 (0)7774 543 818

Notes to editor:

1. Syria Peace & Justice (SPJ) is an open, London-based non-sectarian grassroots group, formed in October 2013. It wishes to promote a peaceful end to the terrible conflict in Syria and justice and human rights for all of its people.

More information about the group and updates on the progress of the Sail4Syria (S4S) voyage can be found at:
http://www.syriapeaceandjustice.wordpress.com

2. SPJ and S4S are currently supporting one group called Syrian Eyes, which is made up of mostly young unpaid Syrian refugees who dedicate their time to providing for the needs of the Syrian refugee families in Lebanon.

Syrian Eyes’ main method of communication with the wider world is through their Facebook page. This is mostly written in Arabic, but does allow non-Arabic speakers to see many photos illustrating their activities in Lebanon. Syrian Eyes describes itself thus*:

“Seeks to provide immediate relief assistance to the displaced people in the Syrian refugee camps in the State of brotherly Lebanon, in addition to the establishment of a small development projects to improve the living conditions of the inhabitants of these camps as much as possible.
*auto-translation from Arabic;

3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22906965
4. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/13/syrian-refugee-catastrophe-european-union-united-nations

Pop–Up ‘Syrian Refugee Camp’ – Wednesday 11th June 2014

Syria solidarity in Parliament Square, 11 June 2014. (c) 2014 D. Viesnik / Syria Peace & Justice

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***CLICK HERE for more photos from 11th June action***

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** 9 Million Displaced Syrians Must Not Be Forgotten **

Show solidarity with the Syrian people and support the pop-up ‘Syrian Refugee Camp’

Parliament Square, Westminster, London SW1A OAA

Wednesday 11th June 2014

10am to 6pm

No need to bring tents as already organized.

Bring good energy, banners, placards, tea, and coffee.
Check weather forecast for brolly alert!

The U.N. estimates that over 6.5 million people are internally displaced — an increase of more than two million in just six months.

Over 2.7 million have fled Syria to escape the violence, mostly to surrounding countries: Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt. This has caused great pressure on the host countries, who are in turn suffering from their own internal turmoil.

The lack of clean water and sanitation in crowded, makeshift settlements is an urgent concern. Diseases like cholera and polio can easily spread — even more life-threatening without enough medical services. In some areas with the largest refugee populations, water shortages have reached emergency levels; the supply is as low as 30 litres per person per day.

http://www.news24.com/World/News/UN-warns-of-drought-crisis-in-Syria-20140408

Arms companies supply weapons to kill predominantly civilians, in other countries and make an obscene amount of money.

The money for the weapons is unwittingly supplied by the taxpayer.

Aid is then sent to these destroyed countries to ‘help the victims’ This is the taxpayer’s money.

Charities are then set up to help in the short fall of funds, again this is the taxpayer.

The ordinary person in the street unwittingly foots the bill to make people they don’t know and will probably never meet, suffer and be killed, while making someone they don’t know and will probably never meet, VERY RICH.

“I hope that those that have the most important responsibility in world affairs will be able to understand that forgetting Syria will be a total disaster,” says António Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Wars Fuelled by Western Powers

Blood money: UK’s £12.3bn arms sales to repressive states:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/blood-money-uks-123bn-arms-sales-to-repressive-states-8711794.html

Russian arms manufacturer and supplier to the Syrian Government allowed to exhibit at the world’s largest arms fair in London, DSEI:
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/09/05/arms-control-syria_n_3864687.html

The time has come to peacefully decline.

Syria Peace and Justice

https://syriapeaceandjustice.wordpress.com

syriapeaceandjustice [at] gmail.com

07506 234 091

Twitter: @syriapj   Facebook: Syria Peace & Justice / Sail4Syria

#sail4syria

Earthian Global Peace Mission

http://earthianblog.wordpress.com

http://tinyurl.com/ophtc7x

Twitter: @earthiankvn   Facebook: Earthian Kvn

#earthianpeace

Peace Strike

http://www.peacestrike.org.uk

07907 233 861

Twitter: @peacestrike   Facebook: Peace Strike

#popupcamps

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

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

https://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

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!
https://syriapeaceandjustice.wordpress.com/media

https://syriapeaceandjustice.wordpress.com

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