Palestine Solidarity Campaign banned from Richmond May Fair again (From Richmond and Twickenham Times)
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Palestine Solidarity Campaign banned from Richmond May Fair again
A campaign group that works to promote peace in Palestine has been banned from the Richmond May Fair for the third year in a row.
The Richmond and Kingston Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), said the event, held at St Mary Magdalene Church and Richmond Green on Saturday, May 10, was anything but fair after it was once again banned from having a stall.
The group was first kicked out of the fair in 2011, after three people complained, but has been subsequently banned each year since.
The group, which makes a formal request each year for inclusion, said it would set up nearby in protest with politician Jenny Tonge.
Chairman of PSC’s local branch Ben Jamal said: “I am not surprised we are not allowed in again but I continue to be disappointed because I think this case is so unreasonable and I think there has been a large body of people expressing their opinions that they are wrong.
“In the context of it all you would think that maybe they might think ‘Maybe we got this one wrong’ but they are not shifting their position.”
The group, which campaigns for peace in Palestine, was first banned from the fair after strong complaints it was anti-Semitic.
Hope and Play, a charity that supports Palestinian children, has been granted a place at the fair but has been told it cannot have any political material on the stall.
Mr Jamal said: “Our aim as a group is to bring people’s attention to what’s happening in Israel and to try to persuade them to take action in a non-violent and democratic way.
“People have a right to disagree with us but they don’t have a right to say it should be closed down.”
The fair, in its 44nd year, will see live music from the Richmond Music Trust’s jazz band and the Kew Wind Orchestra, as well as a Punch and Judy show for children.
The fair committee said the May Fair was not a political gathering but an opportunity for charities and groups much needed funds while giving families an excellent day out.
The fair committee did not want to comment further.
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