Poster for the Sheffield Anti-Apartheid movement, supporting freedom in Southern Africa (Sheffield City Archives)
In the 1980s, following a campaign by Sheffield leaders and anti-apartheid activists, Sheffield became the first council in the country to pledge that it would end all links with apartheid South Africa. The council stopped its pension funds investing in companies linked to apartheid and barred South African sports teams from using its playing fields. Boycotts, divestment and sanctions were one of the most effective ways to apply pressure, and Sheffield led the way.

There have been 75 years of policies implemented by the Israeli state designed to discriminate against Palestinian people and force them from their homes. For the last 16 years, Gaza has been under illegal blockade, which preceded the Hamas atrocity of October 7th and the current genocidal campaign by the Israeli state. In the past few months over 30,000 people have been killed in Gaza – 11,000 of them children.

People may feel powerless in the face of this, but we are not. Now is the time for Sheffield City Council to show leadership once more. In November, Sheffield Council resolved to note that “Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, B’tselem and the South African government recognise that the Israeli Government is enacting a system of apartheid”. We now need to declare our city an Israeli Apartheid-free zone.

Our city must cut ties with all companies that contribute to the genocide of the Palestinian people and apartheid system. This action will show solidarity with the ordinary Israelis and Palestinians who are trying to find a political solution. It will add to the pressure on extremists in the Israeli government and grow the chances of hope and peace.

To support the call for Sheffield Council to boycott and divest from Israeli apartheid, please sign the petition

Alexi Dimond
Sheffield City Councillor for Gleadless Valley

Alexi Dimond addresses the Stop Genocide in Gaza rally
Alexi addresses the Stop Genocide in Gaza rally

Alexi Dimond spoke at the rally to Stop Genocide in Gaza at Sheffield Town Hall on Wednesday.

Here is his speech in full.

Yesterday, the Al Ahli hospital was bombed in the single most egregious act of barbarism so far in Israel’s genocidal campaign against Palestinians in Gaza. A social media advisor to the Israeli PM Hananya Naftali tweeted immediately after the attack: “Israeli Airforce struck a Hamas terrorist base inside a hospital in Gaza” and posted a picture. This has since been deleted as has an IDF post on Facebook boasting about the attack. Over 500 people and likely hundreds more were killed in this attack. Now our media is scrambling to cast doubt on who is responsible, a willing accomplice in covering up for war crimes, just as they try to obscure the truth about the history of Palestine and the occupation.


There is no new war between Hamas and Israel as our media like to claim, but rather a continuation of a 76-year-long conquest and occupation which has intensified under the most repressive right-wing Israeli government in history. The situation persists because Western governments allow Israel to flout international law and subject the Palestinian population under its occupation to racist apartheid policies and subjugation, including a 15-year-long siege of Gaza.


Western racism against Palestinians has a long history, and the dehumanisation of Palestinians is a continuation of the colonial mindset that allowed Europeans to colonise and enslave the world. In 1937 Winston Churchill said of the Palestinian people and I quote: “I do not agree that the dog in the manger has the final rights to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time, I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance that it is a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the Black people of Australia, I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher grade race, a more worldly-wise race, to put it that way, has come to take their place”. This was the real Winston Churchill, not the white-washed version venerated today.

Alexi Dimond addresses the Stop Genocide in Gaza rally

Unfortunately, this racist worldview is one that persists to this day. It is one that informs most of the British media, and politicians from both the Conservative and Labour Parties. Let us not forget that Keir Starmer said “Israel made the desert flower”. Over the last few weeks, we have heard unequivocal support for Israel’s war crimes from both the Leadership of the Conservatives and the Labour Party. Shame on them. They are complicit in these war crimes and must be held accountable.


I salute the few brave former Labour Councillors who have left the party over their leadership’s support for genocide. Councillors such as Amna Abdullatif from Manchester, Shaista Aziz and Amar Latif from Oxford and Cllr Jessie Hoskin, from Stroud district council who said: “The Labour party is no longer consistent with the values of human dignity, equality, and a world where everyone is safe and has what they need to thrive that I believe in and will continue to organise for in other areas of my work.”


Unlike the Labour and Conservative Parties and the UK media, we reject all racism, we reject anti-Palestinian racism, we reject antisemitism, we reject Islamophobia and we reject ethnic cleansing, settler-colonialism and apartheid.


We know that international law must apply equally and that attacks on civilians and collective punishment can never be justified. We condemn our government for supporting Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza – including vetoing UN resolutions calling for a ceasefire. We are witnessing an attack on a captive civilian population of 2.3 million people, two-thirds of whom are refugees and half of whom are children with nowhere to go. Everyone in Gaza is a hostage. 


We call for the release of all hostages. We also demand the release of those held in Israeli prisons – men women and children held without charge in administrative detention in contravention to international law. Every single person in Palestine must be free, free to move, free from discrimination, free from checkpoints and daily humiliation. That is what justice looks like. That is what will bring about peace. 


Returning to Gaza. You don’t need to be a human rights lawyer to know that cutting off water, food and medicine, and targeting civilians are war crimes under international law. It is the definition of collective punishment, it is an act of genocide. Ordering 1.1 million people to leave their homes in less than 24 hours, and bombing them while they flee is genocide. Bombing the Rafah crossing to Egypt to stop aid from coming in and people getting out is genocide. 


I urge everyone to keep protesting every day you can join groups supporting Palestinian rights, donate to Sheffield PSC, write to your MPs and councillors, let them know that you will not vote for them if they support war crimes and apartheid – and as my colleague Maliki said last night – ask them specific questions and publicise their responses. If they will not condemn occupation – out them. If they will not condemn apartheid – out them.  If they will not condemn genocide – out them. 



Banner reading "Barclays funds crimes against humanity."On Saturday March 25th March some Green Party members joined with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Sheffield Extinction Rebellion to protest against Barclays continued support of both the Fossil Fuel industry and the Apartheid policies of the Israeli Government. Both Heather Hunt and Graham Wroe gave speeches. Sheffield Green Party recently committed itself to support the Sheffield Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid. This is a coalition of organisations and individuals united to promote a city-wide response to Israel’s apartheid regime as happened in the 1980s when the people of Sheffield proudly joined the struggle against South African Apartheid. Please add your name as an individual by following this link. Here is a short video of the action.

If you have time this much longer version includes many of the speeches.

Sheffield Greens welcomed members of the Tadhamon choir to their monthly meeting in March. They spoke about their recent trip to Palestine and sang for us. 

Tadhamon Choir
Tadhamon Choir

The meeting unanimously passed two motions. The first committed Sheffield Green Party to support the Sheffield Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid. This is a coalition of organisations and individuals united to promote a city-wide response to Israel’s apartheid regime as happened in the 1980s when the people of Sheffield proudly joined the struggle against South African Apartheid.

The crime of apartheid involves creating and maintaining the systematic domination of one racial or ethnic group over another. Palestinian and international human rights organisations are agreed that apartheid is what is in evidence in the whole of historic Palestine. We support the Palestinian struggle against it and are campaigning for all Sheffield-based institutions and companies to sever any connection that gives support to Israel’s system of apartheid.

The second motion commits Sheffield Green Party to encourage Sheffield City Council to proceed with the town twinning arrangement with Nablus

 Green Party member and Tadhamon singer Heather Hunt said:

 “The recently elected right-wing government in Israel has made explicit its intentions to extend the illegal settlements throughout Palestine and is stepping up its flagrant use of force to intimidate, hurt and kill Palestinians.

 The Green Party has strong policies based on international law ensuring human rights for Palestinian and Israeli citizens. This includes support for the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign.

 Members of the Tadhamon choir shared their first-hand accounts illustrated with images and a few songs, from their recent visit to the West Bank. This vivid account stimulated discussion on ways Sheffield Green Party can go further in putting policies into practice in support of justice for Palestinians.”

More information about their visit is at uk/tadhamon-singers/  


Here are the resolutions.


Resolution 1: Proposed by Heather Hunt. Seconded by Cllr Alexi Dimond

Sheffield Green Party agrees to pledge support for the aims of the Sheffield Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid. The aims are as follows:

  •       Oppose all forms of racism. eg.racism against Black and minority ethnic groups, antisemitism and Islamophobia
  •       Raise Sheffield citizen’s awareness of the Palestinian people’s struggle against injustice imposed by Israeli apartheid, settler colonisation and occupation.
  •       Make Sheffield into an Israeli Apartheid Free Zone by campaigning for business, local governmental, educational, sporting and cultural institutions to renounce all ties that support the Israeli apartheid system in line with the Palestinian BDS campaign.
  •       Oppose the arm trade and all forms of military collaboration with Israel and call for the end of Israeli occupation and the siege of the Gaza Strip.
  •       Call for sanctions against Israel until it abides by all international laws and UN resolutions affecting the rights of Palestinians including the refugees’ right of return.
  •       Supports Palestinian grassroots organisations which promote equality for women, workers’ rights and the improvement of conditions for children.
  •       Encourage Palestinian cultural activity in Sheffield
  •       Oppose measures aimed at shutting down public criticism of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.


Resolution 2. Proposed by Heather Hunt. Seconded by Cllr Alexi Dimond

Further to the invitation from the Mayor of Nablus to the Mayor of Sheffield in 2019, Sheffield Green Party will encourage and support further twinning arrangements with Nablus; be that formally with SCC and also through informal linking with educational and cultural organisations in both cities.


Tadhamon Choir. Saturday Jan 7th 2023 at 7pm, Central URC Church, Norfolk St S1 2JB

Book free tickets in advance here

Many of you will know about Tadhamon singer’s recent tour of Palestine and may even have read our blog. The trip had a profound effect on all of us who went, even those of us who had been to Palestine before. The cruelty and injustices of the Israeli occupation are really shocking.
All the Palestinians we had contact with asked us to tell the rest of the world what was happening because they feel really forgotten and isolated. So this performance of stories, songs and visuals is our way of shining a light on what is happening and amplifying the voices of the Palestinian people.
We hope you will come. It’s free but you do need to book.