Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Update: Australian BDS Conference: 29 - 31st October 2010


Building Solidarity, Combating Occupation and Apartheid
National Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions conference
Melbourne, 29 - 31 October 2010

- activism in support of Palestine -

Endorsed by the Palestinian BDS National Committee

Our confirmed speakers so far include:

Rafeef Ziadah
Rafeef is a Palestinian activist, unionist and spoken word artist. She is a member of the steering committee of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) Rafeef is also a founding member of the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) promoting the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestement and Sanctions (BDS) campaign in Canada and an organizer of the international Israeli Apartheid Week. Rafeef is a member of the Canadian Union of Public Employees and was a member of the CUPE’s international solidarity committee for 3 years

Anna Baltzer
Anna is a Jewish-American Columbia graduate and Fulbright, who has worked as a volunteer with the International Women's Peace Service in the Occupied West Bank, documenting human rights abuses and supporting Palestinian-led nonviolent resistance to the Occupation. Anna is the author of the book Witness in Palestine and speaks widely in the USA and internationally on the Palestinian struggle for human rights and self-determination. Anna is being brought to Australia as part of a national speaking tour organised by Australians for Palestine and will speak at the Australian national BDS conference on Saturday.

Samah Sabawi

Samah is an Australian-Palestinian writer and social justice activist. She is co-author of Journey to Peace in Palestine and a former executive director of the National Council on Canada Arab Relations.

Ofer Neiman
Ofer Neiman is a co-editor of the Occupation Magazine, and one of the activists in the Israeli support group for the BDS campaign, “BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS call from within”. He works as an editor and a translator. He believes that Israeli peace and anti-occupation groups will not be able to change reality from within, without support from the outside. Ofer will join the conference launch via internet/video hook up from Jerusalem.

Kevin Bracken
Kevin is a long-time unionist and supporter of the Palestinian struggle for self-determination, as well as other social justice issues. Kevin is currently the Secretary of the Victorian branch of the Maritime Union of Australia and the President of the Victorian Trades Hall Council.

Yousef Alreemawi
Yousef is a Palestinian academic and advocate for Palestinian and refugee rights. Yousef also presents Palestine Remembered, Australia’s only English language program on Palestine, on Radio 3CR. He is also the founder of ASPIRE – the Australian Society for Palestinian Iraqi Refugees Emergency – an humanitarian project which seeks to resettle in Australia, Palestinian-Iraqi refugees living in refugee camps on the Iraq/Syrian border.

Alex Whisson
Alex is a long time Palestine solidarity activist. He is the former convenor of Friends of Palestine in Western Australia and is currently the Public Advocate for Australians for Palestine in Melbourne

Kim Sattler
Kim is a long-time unionist, who was active in the South African anti-apartheid campaign. Kim is currently the Secretary of Unions ACT in Canberra. Kim has recently returned from Palestine, where she participated in the Union Aid Abroad APHEDA Middle East Study Tour 2010

Ginny Adams
Ginny is an organiser with the Health and Community Sector Union. Ginny has been active in the Palestinian and refugee rights campaigns for more than 10 years. She recently returned from Palestine, where she participated in the Union Aid Abroad APHEDA Middle East Study Tour 2010

Ken Davis
Ken is a long-time unionist and social justice campaigner. He is a member of the Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine in Sydney.

Conference Registration: All weekend $30/22 (incl: Conference launch meeting) Daily $15/$10 Conference Launch meeting $5
Conference registration: email

FRIDAY – 29th October
7pm – 9pm The international Boycott campaign and the struggle for a Free Palestine
VENUE: STATE LIBRARY OF VICTORIA, cnr of La Trobe and Swanston St, Melbourne
Rafeef Ziadah (Palestinian BNC)
Kim Sattler (Secretary, Unions ACT)
Yousef Al Reemawi (Palestinian academic)
Ofer Neiman (BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS call from Within Israel)

SATURDAY – 30th October
8.45 – 9.15am Registration

9.15am Welcome/Opening Conference Organising Committee
9.30am – 10.45amPopular struggle: BDS and a short history of civil disobedience and struggle in Palestine and internationally

Alex Whisson – Australians for Palestine
Anna Baltzer - author, Witness in Palestine

10.45-11.15am Break

11.15am – 12.45pm Struggle and Solidarity: Lessons from Palestine Solidarity work internationally
Samah Sabawi – Palestinian writer/former Executive Director of National Council on Canada Arab Relations
Rafeef Ziadah - Palestinian BDS National Committee
Kevin Bracken, State Secretary, Maritime Union of Australia (Vic)

12.45pm-1.30pm Lunch

1.30pm – 2.30pm National Targets Proposals - Conference organising committee

2.30pm – 4pm Discussion of proposed National Targets Break into sectoral groups – Unions Campus/Faith based/ Community/Culture

4pm– 4.30pm Break

4.30pm – 5.45pm Solidarity in Action workshops
(1) Australian Flotilla project – Gaza Defence Committee
(2) Palestinian-Iraqi refugees and re-settlement in Australia – ASPIRE
(3) Lessons from Students for Palestine
(4) Volunteering in Palestine – International Women’s Peace Service

Fear of a Brown Planet,
The Brothahood,
The Conch,
hil Monsour Band and;
Rafeef Ziadah

Middle East Food and drinks available



9am – 9.30pm Registration and welcome

9.30pm – 10.45am Apartheid: South Africa, Israel and international law.
Ken Davis - Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine
Ginny Adams – union organiser

10.45am- 11.15am Break

11.15am-12.15pm Palestine Q & A with Rafeef Ziadah and others

12.15pm 1pm lunch

1pm – 2.30pm Hasbara busting: Countering Israel’s propaganda war and attempts to delegitimise BDS.
Samah Sawbawi - Palestinian writer/former Executive Director of National Council on Canada Arab Relations
Kim Bullimore – International Women’s Peace Service-Palestine

2.30pm –3pm Break

3 pm – 4.45pm Decision on National BDS target/campaign

4.45pm – 5pm Closing of conference

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