Calling All BDS Supporting Football Fans!

sarsak

The Red Card Israeli Racism campaign exceeded all expectations in forcing Palestine onto the agenda of international football bodies and media over many months in the run up to the UEFA under-21 finals in Israel in June.

Using a combination of grass roots actions at the UEFA annual congress, outside and sometimes inside football grounds, petitions in the UK and Europe-wide, open letters with big-name signatories, relentless lobbying of FA and UEFA officials, building relationships with anti-racist football organisations, bringing Mahmoud Sarsak to the UK and arranging a series of public events and media interviews for him, we generated widespread discussion about the injustices faced by Palestinians – political prisoners, footballers and citizens in general – in a new arena for BDS. We got people questioning Israel’s suitability, as a state that practices apartheid against Palestinians, to host international sporting events.

Now we face the challenge of building on those gains and are therefore inviting interested activists to meet in Central London on Saturday October 19 from 11.30 to 16.30 (venue to be decided).

Proposed agenda items

1. Review of the campaign so far
2. FIFA’s task force on Israel’s restrictions on Palestinian movement
3. Brazil 2014
4. UEFA women’s under-19 finals in Israel in 2015
5. Israeli teams in European competitions
6. Grass roots action at club level.
7. Building grass roots solidarity with Palestinian clubs
8. Consolidating links with anti-racist football organisations
9. Campaign structure and organisation.

This is intended as a working meeting to review the prospects for building an ongoing campaign with clearly defined objectives and strategy. Participants are welcome to submit proposals or discussion papers up to a week before the meeting. We aim to circulate papers by October 16.

As a result of links developed during the campaign, Mahmoud Sarsak has been invited to attend the world congress of the players union FIFPro, the international federation of professional footballers’ associations, in Slovenia on October 21-25. We hope he will be able to take part in the London workshop before he goes.

Please let us know as soon as possible if you would like to attend. With support from the Boycott Israel Network organising committee we hope to be able to operate a pool fare in order to help activists from outside London to attend.

Please pass this invitation on to other activists you know who may wish to be involved in building the Red Card Israeli Racism campaign.

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