Sunday, 25 January 2009

Day 3: Is that the best you got?

Greetings from the Botany House occupation! 

At 3 AM on Saturday Morning, JSoc and Zionist activist Jak Codd attempted to score a PR victory over the solidarity-occupation. Him and two of his friends turned up half-drunk after  a club night with the intention of mocking and intimidating us. They waved an Israeli flag in front of the building while laughing loudly and taking pictures of their actions. Soon  they began screaming insults and when members of the occupation came out to ask them to respect the fact that people were sleeping he became confrontational and aggressive. Campus Security soon came out and in no certain terms told him he was deliberately trying to aggrevate our members and ordered him to "fuck off" campus.

In the morning we held a meeting to prepare our intervention into the weekly demonstration for Gaza in Leeds City Centre. We decided to try and get a speaker up onto the platform of the post-demo rally to invite people to a meeting in the occupation, place it within the context of the national and international occupation and protest movements, and announce the further plans of action that we have arranged.

The demonstration itself was considerably smaller than the previous ones. We suspect that in light of the supposed 'ceasefire' many people felt that this demonstration wasn't useful. Around 200-250 people came along and were clearly disgusted by the continued oppression of and attacks on the Palestinian people. The demonstration was loud and lively, despite nearly being attacked by a group of fascist football hooligans, who shouted racial abuse and swore as we went past. After the demonstration our speaker was able to talk to the crowd from the platform (despite the protests of an older member of the SWP) and called on as many people as possible to join the occupation, come to the meetings being hosted and use the space for their own meetings,events and so on. About 30 people followed us back to the occupation and we had a vibrant meeting about how to take the movement further and bring in more people, taking on board the lessons of the Italian, French and Greek occupation movements as well as the anti-apartheid actions of the past.

We have recieved solidarity donations and a lot of people have come into the Botany House to have discussions, cups of tea and make posters. We encourage all students, youth and workers of Leeds to come see us, join us and make the occupation their own!


  1. Well done Leeds, don't give up.

    The Zionist lobby at our university tried to tarnish our name by linking us to allegations of anti-semitism. What I would do is immediately call the local media and tell them about the abuse you faced from Jack Cod so they have a quote handy in case JSoc try a smear campaign.

  2. Good plan. PS I think his name is actually Jak Codd.

    The Zionists are for once really losing their propaganda war. We need to publically expose people like Codd who show Zionists up to be the racist louts they really are.

  3. Firstly, Jak Codd is not, and has never been, the president of JSoc.
    Secondly, JSoc has taken no official political stance on the conflict or on this demonstration.
    And thirdly, JSoc cannot be held responsible for the action of individual members.

  4. Oh Jak, how much we love you x

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. good on you Jak for standing up to these idiots

  7. Same Jak and the way they are trying to tarnish you is disgusting . Your seriously saying those who are part of the occupation that having a sign sayuing victory to the intifada isn't inciting anti semitism -what planet do you live on ?

  8. According to wikipedia 'intifada is an Arabic word for shaking off ... It is often used as a term for popular resistance to oppression'

    Calling for 'victory to the intifada' therefore calls for victory over oppression.

    The anonymous writer is therefore equating semitism with oppression which I'm sure is not the intended meaning of the banner but rather quite simply 'victory to freedom loving people over the zionist slaughter'.

    Anyway good work people, I wish I could join you.

  9. "THE" interfada is refering to either the first or second interfada (probably both!) What Ben says would apply if the poster said "victory to AN intifada"

    It's a very inflammatory message that is very intimidating to students and incites hatred.