Monday, 14 November 2011

Palestinian Freedom Riders and Wales Residual waste.

50 years ago the US Freedom riders staged mixed-race bus rides through the roads of the segregated American South, Palestinian Freedom riders will be asserting their own right for liberty and dignity by disrupting the military regime of the Israeli Occupation through peaceful civil disobedience, this will take place on Tuesday 15th as all over the West Bank they will attempt to board buses that discriminate against them. They will attempt to board segregated Israeli settler publlic transport headed to occupied East Jerusalem.
Meanwhile 5 North Wales Councils are considering the notorious French company Veolia for their Residual Waste Treatment Project. Personally I think they should reconsider.
The Jerusalem Light Rail (JLR) which veolia has subsequently built in the West Bank serves the Jewish-only Israeli settlement. Remember that Britain has declared, through the UN Human Rights Council, that the JLR's operation is a breach by Israel of international law.
Veolia at the moment is trying to sell its LJR shares to a company called Egged, that seems to let Veolia of the hook and North Wales project in the clear.M'mm Egged is the same company that until January 2011 also operated gender-segregated lines, commonly called " mehadrin" buses, mainly running in and/or between major Haredi population centers. In these sex segregated buses women are expected to sit the in the back of the bus and wear so called modest dress. Sounds like gender discrimination to me, it is interesting how companies that violate international laws reappear in disgiuse so to speak. Welsh councils in a spirit of solidarity I feel should have nothing to do with either company. But sometimes transparency can get buried in the search of deals.
50 years apart 2 symbolic journeys, different locations but apartheid is apartheid , no matter where it rears its ugly head, so this week I  hope the world stands in solidarity with the modern freedom riders. An old tradition awakened .Who knows perhaps the future will let justice and freedom prevail .

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