Tottenham Palestine Literature Festival 2014

hjfpIs Tottenham a little village? Some one involved in the literature festival was a friend of a friend of mine, an ex-colleague of another friend and the colleague of another, although none of us knew about these connections until yesterday. [Link to the festival’s page]

We met at different stages of the festival, the first one being the opening evening with Haringey Independent Cinema, showing films on Palesinian issues, mainly Gaza. [Link to Haringey Independent Cinema]

stallThe second day, Friday, saw the first stalls with books and the first ’round table’, about travelling to Palestine (should we, privileged Westerners, travel to Palestine as activists, or tourists, and if so, under what conditions?)

Saturday was too full of events happening at the same time to list them all; the program can be seen here: [link to the pdf file in hjpf site]

I was there with copies of my book [link to the page on this blog] and copies of the booklet ‘Tech Tools for Activism’ [link to ttfa site] [link to flossmanuals], talked to lots of wonderful, committed activists in different fields, including bookshops from around the area, and generally very nice people with very open minds prepared to learn (even more).

The first session was invaded by some EDL activists, I wasn’t in the auditorium where it happened but when I heard the tumult I went to help and witnesses said that about four people had invaded the stage and shouted abuse. These people turned out to be ‘regular trouble makers’ in this type of events. When some of the attendees or organisers confronted them, they were sprayed with some nasty dye that doesn’t go off in days no matter how much you wash.

When I arrived I saw some shouting and people saying the police had been called. The bigger men, and a woman with her daughter left, still shouting abuse in the entrance hall, but one woman remained inside, shouting that her mobile phone had been stolen from her pocket. The woman in question happened to be Roberta Moore, known to pro-palestinian activists and the police.

The police arrived a while later, when only the woman was still inside; they took statements from a good number of attendees, wrongfully arresting one of them, with the ‘wrong appearance’, in the process.

The rest of the event went on peacefully, with lots of fruitful discussion, and an apparent common call for a one-state solution in Israel, secular and inclusive.