Held in London 23rd January 2016
The AGM was well attended by 350 members and other delegates, the largest gathering to date.
As always the Chair, Hugh Lanning, started the meeting with a stirring overview of the current situation in Palestine and the problems faced by the Palestinian population. He concluded with a view that the Israelis continue to make life more difficult for Palestinians noting an increase in Israeli practices of ethnic cleansing and violation of Palestinian human rights.
Mick Whelan, General Secretary of ASLEF, gave an enlivened and disturbing account of his recent visit to Palestine. This was followed by a detailed summary of PSC activities in 2015 by PSC Secretary, Ben Soffa. It is clear that the extent of PSC activities continues to grow with noticeable successes from the BDS campaign.
Four key objectives were outlined during the meeting and actions agreed. They include:
- A list of actions to “demonstrate continuing solidarity” with the Palestinian people.
- To strengthen PSC campaigning against specific target companies that are complicit in depriving Palestinians of their basic human rights, the arms trade and agricultural imports.
- Organise to grow the membership of PSC and their participation in organised activities and strengthen the branches
- Build alliances with other pro-Palestinian organisations to increase pressure on UK Parliament to act to curb Israeli abuses.
Motion which were debated and passed included:
- Raise awareness of the Counter Extremist Bill and campaign to prevent it passing into law.
- A range of actions to raise awareness of the plight of the Bedouin living in Israel.
- Condemnation of the Cooperative Bank for the forced closure of PSC accounts
- Support to Red Card Israel, which is an attempt to get Israel expelled form FIFA and UEFA
Following a lively debate, the motion to expel Israel from the UN was once again rejected, but with a reduced majority.
Along the way there was a talk from Mustafa Barghouti via Skype direct from Palestine and a packed agenda was closed with a rousing speech from Ambassador Manuel Hassassian.