Flying the flag for Palestine

July 10, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Scottish efforts to highlight the illegality and horror of Israeli action against Palestine are having effect around the world.  But more can be done.  That was the message from a meeting of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign tonight (Thursday 9 July 2015) in Glasgow.


Councillor Jim Bollan, Chairperson Dr Karen Bett and air transport engineer Waseem Abuaglain.

West Dunbartonshire Councillor, Jim Bollan of Alexandria, said flying the Palestinian flag from the Council buildings last year had people ‘queuing round the block’ to take photographs.  The Council’s unanimous decision to do that highlighted the suffering of the people of Gaza who were under bombardment from Israel at the time. ‘People got involved, posted it on facebook and social media and showed there can be no peace in Palestine without justice,’ said Councillor Bollan. ‘West Dunbartonshire was the mouse that roared. There was a crazy reaction around the world.’

Former air transport engineer in Gaza, Waseem Abuaglain, said the Palestinian flag being flown on the West Dunbartonshire council building was well received by people in Gaza. ‘When I talked to family and friends there, they were happy because it showed that people outside care. That is a really important message.’

Both speakers emphasised the need for the world to know about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Said Councillor Bolland: ‘More than 520,000 families have been displaced, 20,000 homes destroyed and 244 schools damaged by Israeli attacks. The slaughter continues but both the United States and the UK say nothing.  The West stands back and allows this to happen.’

Said Waseem Abuaglain who ‘restarted life’  in Scotland: ‘Electricity is now only available for six hours a day – it was eight. Supplies of everything are only a fraction of what is needed because of the restriction on lorry coming in.’

He said that a three minute warning can be given for a rocket attack but it takes more than that time for people to get out of some of the buildings and get out of the area being attacked. He instanced a family home of five storeys which was flattened. ‘That is only one of thousands of houses destroyed. The people cannot ‘move on’ with their lives. They can only continue to live on top of the rubble for there is no place to go.  Gaza is a time bomb, now,’ he said.

He also detailed how the airport – where he once worked – has been destroyed by Israeli attacks.  ‘This was a civilian airport with commercial flights from many countries. Not only is it destroyed now, the farms round about it are also destroyed. Israeli bulldozers dug up the runway which cost $60 million.’  He commented that Israeli fears of ‘security’ at the airport were unfounded because the Israelis themselves controlled the security.

Glasgow City Council’s Nice surveillance system which is used in the city centre, was developed by Israel in Gaza and includes the most advanced face recognition techniques.  ‘It is a disgrace that it is being piloted in Glasgow,’ said Councillor Bolland. ‘This needs to be challenged.’

Dr Karen Bett who is treasurer of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and who chaired the meeting in Renfield St Stephen’s chapel, said: ‘Scotland by its actions shows that we can change things. We show that Palestine matters.’

The Campaign believes that concerted actions and international pressure including boycott, divestment and sanctions could result in justice and peace in Palestine in the same way such efforts brought an end to apartheid in South Africa.

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Residents’ to quiz Network Rail on Queen Street Station plans

April 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

 Network Rail intends to redevelop Queen Street Station.  Because of concerns expressed by local residents and surrounding businesses, a Network Rail presentation will take place in Glasgow City Chambers on Tuesday 15 April at 7 pm.  This will be hosted by the Merchant City and  Trongate Community Council.
Said Gerald Hirst, the Community Council Treasurer: ‘This promises to be an interesting event. The proposal

impacts on our built environment. There are possible temporary effects on vehicular and pedestrian circulation during the period. Network Rail are seeking input from and dialogue with, affected residents.’

Partick Community Council is looking for volunteers

October 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Partick Community Council will holds its Annual General Meeting on Thursday 10 October 2013 at 7pm in Partick Burgh Hall. The chair and the treasurer will each give an annual report and new office bearers will be elected.

The meeting will be followed, immediately, by the regular monthly meeting of the Community Council.  The organisation is part of the democratic, elected representation of this country and each meeting is open to anyone to attend.

‘We have vacancies if you are interested in becoming active in your community,’ says Eva Bolander, the Chairperson.