Pressure grows on the Straw-Rice visit to NW England 6

“The most unwelcome visit to Liverpool since Oswald Mosley came here in the 1930s.” Liverpool Echo

Blackburn: Muslims ‘withdraw Rice invitation’

An invitation to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to visit a mosque in Jack Straw’s home constituency has been withdrawn, it was claimed.

Mosque leaders in Blackburn decided on the U-turn following pressure from the local community, according to campaign group Stop the War Coalition.

The planned visit on Saturday was designed to repay a trip that the Foreign Secretary made to the Alabama hometown of Ms Rice last year.

Ms Rice will tour Blackburn and Liverpool as part of a two-day regional tour, which is due to start on Friday.

However, the Masjid Al Hidayah mosque in Millham Street is said to have cancelled the invitation because of community feelings about US and British policy on Iraq.

Liverpool: Straw in appeal to anti-war protesters

…It comes after news of Ms Rice’s impending arrival prompted the Stop the War Coalition to organise protests outside The Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA), when she visits on Friday.

Already poet Roger McGough has pulled out of his booking to compere the Celebration of Liverpool concert at the Phil, and Mona Lisa actress Cathy Tyson turned down an offer to step into the role.

Visit CondiWatch for up to the minute information on the planned protests.

Update: MEP tells Rice: Stay at home

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6 thoughts on “Pressure grows on the Straw-Rice visit to NW England

  • Richard II

    This is unrelated to the article, but important, and the more people who know about this, the better (not that it's actually going to change anything, because few people really give a damn in this country): ID cards and what it means for you:

    (Scroll down to read the article)

    Like a newly bought pet, the government is putting us on a leash, and tying a tag around our neck, one that we can't remove.

    From a Masjid Al Hidayah Mosque, Millham Street, Blackburn, to withdraw their invitation to Condoleezza Rice,the Lancashire Council of Mosques, an umbrella organisation representing the majority of mosques in Blackburn and across Lancashire, have issued the following statement.

    'The Lancashire Council of Mosques today announced that they have officially declined an invitation to attend an audience with Condoleezza Rice and Jack Straw at Blackburn Town Hall this Saturday as a mark of solidarity and respect towards the innocent victims of the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    This is an issue which resonates profoundly with our members and indeed the very large peace and anti-war movement within the wider community with whom we share our concerns on current American and British foreign policy.

    Dialogue and reasoned discussion is clearly something which has failed to influence the Bush administration in its pugnacious stance on foreign affairs thus far, and so we have refused the offer of a private audience with Ms Rice.'

    Via Condiwatch

  • BizzyBee

    Rice is a war criminal and should be treated as such. I wonder whether the BBC will give any publicity to the protests?

  • Richard II

    The BBC is wasting away.

    If you want a news organization that is strong and healthy, and has the courage to say what everyone is thinking, then try Sky News.

    Don't listen to people who criticise Rupert Murdoch, just check out this snapshot of a news headline:….

    (scroll down to see the picture)

  • Richard II

    Extract from "Diego Garcia And The Special Relationship's Dirty Secret" by Daniel Simpson (who writes for Reuters and the New York Times):

    "Although the High Court had ruled in November 2000 that the original expulsion of the Chagos islanders constituted 'an abject legal failure', ministers simply reinstated the law that banished them, only this time it was even tougher. Magna Carta be damned; 'No person has the right of abode,' declared the July 2004 ordinance.

    "To bypass Parliament, which would almost certainly have slapped down the legislation, the government used the Queen's ancient Prerogative power as a rubber stamp. As Britain has no written constitution, it is now up to the courts to determine whether, as the government insists, Her Majesty still has the right to do whatever she pleases to her subjects in colonial dominions.

    "'There is no precedent that we have been able to find in statute, case law, or indeed in history for what has been done,' argues Bancoult's barrister, Sir Sydney Kentridge…

    "Kentridge's opposite number says he has 'a knockout blow', however, in the form of an 1865 statute granting the Queen unlimited power under colonial law unless Parliament expressly forbids a particular course of action.

    "…the islanders' solicitor concedes,… 'I don't see any hope that the government will take anything approaching a humane view or what one might call a rational view of these people's rights,"

    I think this rests the case as to whether Blair is a Christian or not.

    Blair and his government – and, indeed, all British governments – believe only in this life; hence, you can kill, rape, torture, murder, brutalise, traumatise, steal from, demoralise, and drive to suicide, anyone you please.

    The only thing that gives ministers pause is, if, one day, what we have done is discovered, can we be imprisoned?

  • Richard II

    Another extract from Daniel Simpson's article (for those who may not have time – or do not want – to read it all:

    "After a cart ran over his youngest sister's leg, Bancoult, his eight siblings and their parents boarded a boat for the nearest hospital, 1,000 miles away in Port Louis. When they tried to return home, they learned the local shipping company had cancelled all departures. Their island was officially off-limits; it had been 'sold' to the U.S. military. This was depopulation by stealth: like hundreds of others in the late 1960s, the family had inadvertently signed up for a one-way passage.

    "Their possessions were lost, their future bleak. Bancoult's father, an unskilled coconut farmer like his peers, failed to find work in Mauritius and died within a few years. One of his sisters set herself ablaze in despair. Two brothers drank themselves to death. 'Animals have better treatment than us,' he protests."

    And Blair is cheerfully doing his damnedest to destroy what's left of their lives.

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