|The view from inside (pic: @JoeforLiverpool)|
Campaigners from the Liverpool Rise for Palestine group protested outside the home of Mayor Joe Anderson yesterday evening, angered by his Labour council’s links with G4S. The notorious security company stand accused of atrocities within the Israeli prison system.
From information provided by Anderson himself on his Twitter account, it seems that around twenty protesters gathered outside his home for around an hour last night.
At around 7:47 pm, the mayor tweeted:
“Friends of Palestine [sic] demonstrating at my house for last 30 mins shouting abuse bullying and scaring my 84 year old Mother in law.
Not surprisingly, Rise for Palestine themselves had a very different take on the event. Their Facebook page posted:
“Joe Anderson took this photograph from his window tonight of our protest at his house for being the chair of the cabinet that gave G4S the contracts with Liverpool City Council. He and the council has known about G4S for years. He calls us abusive and intimidatory but doesn’t have a problem with giving contracts to companies that literally provide equipment that locks thousands of Palestinian prisoners in jails. As if the Israeli soldiers don’t kidnap Palestinians from their homes, at check points, in the street. As if the soldiers don’t break and smash Palestinian homes in raids. As if Palestinians every day aren’t going through the brutal processes of interrogation and torture in detention centres and prisons. As if Palestinians are being detained without charge or trial. As if sham military courts don’t postpone and postpone court dates. This is what Anderson and Liverpool City Council supports. The brutal and racist policies of Israel’s colonial prisons. What we are demanding is that the contract is broken today. Not weeks, months or years from now. TODAY.”
As Israel rained death and destruction on Gaza this summer, Anderson struck a neutral pose, despite the massively lopsided balance of forces At the end of July, he called a “peace vigil” at St George’s Plateau. In announcing the event he stated:
“Whatever the issues, whoever started it and whichever side people see themselves on, surely we can agree that children should not, and must not, be victims of war? It cannot be right that children are at risk of their lives, frightened or being made homeless. Our diverse communities coming together in recognition of this will be a simple act of humanity. We are seeing daily images broadcast on the news, social media and the newspapers of children crying, frightened, injured and dead. They are too difficult to watch without doing something or saying something.” [emphasis added]
Of course, when 2, 143 Palestinians were killed, as opposed to a mere 6 civilians in Israel, this neutrality is a cover for siding with the oppressor. Liverpool’s Labour group has a particularly strong link with Israel’s Zionist agenda. MPs Louise Ellman (Riverside), Luciana Berger (Wavertree) and Stephen Twigg (West Derby) have all held high positions within Labour Friends of Israel. Labour’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy formerly chaired the group.