A ‘Political’ Stroll Around the City Centre at Christmas

Saturday 12 of December: two weeks before Christmas and the city centre is buzzing with activity, full of people out to buy presents for their loved ones. What’s the essence of Christmas? Even if nowadays it has become a little bit of everything, from taking a loan to getting drunk, even if you’re not a Christian yourself, you’ll probably agree that Christmas is also about caring for others as we care for ourselves (and you may go as far as admitting that it is actually in our own *interest* to care for others). That’s why we thought it totally ‘Christmassy’ to make a programme about things that matter to Sheffielders, both at home and away.

This programme will take you for a *political* stroll around the city centre. First we follow the Palestine Solidarity Campaign to the Moor: how do Sheffielders respond to the call for a boycott of Israeli goods? The discussion is there, sharp and live, ranging from a “yes I will” to “No, thank you, I’m shopping now” (why thank me?) and to outright cussing. At the Town Hall the Stop the War Coalition is gathering signatures for the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. We ask them where we can find hope for the anti-war movement when the government ignored million-strong rallies; walking down Fargate and past the open-air market, we come upon the Body of Sound choir. They’re singing to raise funds for an asylum seekers support group.

Blah blah blah….Merry Christmas, have a listen, and tell us what you think!

A ‘Political’ Stroll Around the City Centre: PART 1

Stroll at Christmas 1

A ‘Political’ Stroll Around the City Centre: PART 2

Stroll at Christmas 2

12 thoughts on “A ‘Political’ Stroll Around the City Centre at Christmas

    1. Philip Brooks

      Oh dear. I used to listen to Sheffieldlive regularly when it was just on the net but this is the first time that I’ve been to your website for ages. Why? Because I’m sick and tired of the Israel bashing and the blatant, narrow, politically correct, left wing bias on what is supposed to be a community station but which has been hi-jacked by people only interested in promoting one side of the agenda. Frankly I have been so offended by the blind bigotry of some of the programming that I’ve seriously considered making complaints to the broadcasting standards but just couldn’t be bothered. I’m sure you guys know that there are laws about political bias but it seems that you just don’t care. I’m sure someone will complain sooner or later and hopefully those who are currently providing funding in good faith will wise up to what their money is being used for.

    2. Mohamed (London Rd)

      i’m soo proud to live in a city that stands up for equality justice and peace.
      sheffield will be missing sumthing without you guys
      keep it up

    3. Shimshun

      Hi Phillip
      I have been sat here for a few minutes wondering how i might respond to you. First – and I do not often do this (as largely it is irrelevant) – but i should perhaps say that i am a Jew; one of several that support Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign (Sheffield PSC). And i say this to defuse your suspicion that i am being anti semitic.

      There are a number of things that you say that are quite serious accusations both of Sheffield PSC and of Sheffield Live.

      Taking the last first. If you read the article above carefully there is no where i think a direct appeal to support what Sheffield PSC was doing, simply – in my reading – a message from an interested observer that this was Of course it is possible to claim that the publicity itself reveals bias. But by that argument we can equally argue that the uneven publicity given to Israeli views on mainstream TV and radio reveals bias too. This bias is sometimes naked sometimes subtle but always there.

      Taking your claim that Sheffield PSC engage in ‘Israel bashing’ i think you are probably correct; this surely is to be welcomed. How can we not ‘bash’ this State when it pursues a policy of imprisonment of 1.5 million Gazans? How can we not bash them when it continues to confiscate land, hound Palestinians from their homes, take more than its fair share of scarce resources?

      We can learn from the Irish war – euphemistically described as ‘the troubles’. The war simply would not have had had popular nationalist support had the Nationalist, predominantly Catholic population, had equal access to housing, employment and schools. The lack of these things provided oxygen for conflict.

      Provide Palestinian people with a just peace, not a peace based on the might of Israel but one based on the rights of humans, then the war will not have support. This is not say to say that conflict will disappear; of course not. How could it when so many people have had so much hurt? But it should have other outlets and other means of expression.

      Until Israel delivers this just peace (and as the the state with one of the mightiest military forces on the planet it has the responsibility to do this) then Palestinian people will continue to struggle and where they can fight. Their supporters will do the same. I will continue to be one of them.

      Happy festive season and new year

      shimshun ben uvraham yitzhak hu cohain

    4. Dick Pitt

      I was sad to read Philip’s comments. Just as he couldn’t be bothered to complain he clearly couldn’t be bothered to learn the facts. Philip wants a balanced approach. How can there be a balance between people who want to grab someone else’s land and those who suffer in the process. How can there be balance between people who are building Bantustans and those expected to live in them. How can there be a balance between fishermen wanting to earn a living and the soldiers who use force to prevent them?
      Israel is systematically oppressing the Palestinians. Desmond Tutu and other South Africans tell us that Palestinians are suffering today more than blacks suffered under Apartheid. To be neutral between an oppressor and the oppressed is to side with the oppressor.

    5. Jeremy Arblaster

      Oh dear Phillip. Clearly you’re not on the right ‘wavelength’ (pun definitely intended). Bashing this radio station is clearly all you have left in your pathetic life and this fact is almost as sad as your ignorant, unenlightened comment. I’d say it should be a joyous celebration of the power of radio that there are voices being sent out promoting awareness and intelligence regarding the situation in the Middle East. I’d say it were a credit to our wonderful city that it is filled with people who are not content merely to sit around and discuss the world’s problems over a nice glass of Shiraz, and instead are fighting for a just cause. Perhaps you should go on down to the centre of town and make a protest yourself. See how many people join you, and then perhaps we can round you all up and give you an accurate history and account of the situation. I imagine that our wisdom and the lights of the Christmas tree might do something to brighten the dark and dismal corners of your ignorant mind

    6. Paul Kelemen

      One year had passed since Israel’s military offensive agaist Gaza killed 1,400 people. There a have been no bombs launched from Gaza, there have been no suicide bombers and yet the siege goes on. Nor does Israel need the Hamas pretext. In the Negev, the Bedouin tribes are being slowly expelled and in East Jerusalem and the West Bank Israeli settlements go on expanding. So Philip Brooks would prefer people to ignore all this.
      He may care to look in The Times, 1st December. Over 600 Jews, including myself, signed an advertisement condemning the vilification of the Goldstone report. It is those who seek to defend the indefensible who are guilty of bigotry. I am proud to be a member of Sheffield PSC.

    7. matt simon - Meersbrook -Sheffield

      I think that it will be a good idea for Sheffield Live to show the other side of the Agenda !!!! This will be very problematic for Israel; what positive side is Israel going to show; over sixty years of Ethnic Cleansing; collective punishment of Palestinians; theft of land and water resources; torture, killing of civilians, systimatic use of prohibited weapons against Palestinian and Lebanese civilians; exploitation of Palestinian workers; war crimes in Palestine and Lebanon; I van go on for long long time, the list is so long it will need a full article.

      All credit to Sheffield Live for covering activities that expose Israeli oppression of the Palestinians. I hoppe that you will stand firm in face of intemedation; be sure that many Sheffielders who care about their community are behind you.

    8. John Arnie - Crookes - Sheffield

      I salute Sheffield live for their bravery. I hope that more people in our Sheffield community will take notice of the grave injustice which was and still is being inflicted on the Palestinian people. I am proud that there is a community radio which is willing to follow events which are trying to raise awareness, among people in Sheffield, of the truth. The Palestinians have been denied justice for long decades; it is time that their story is told without distortion. Merry Xmas and Happy New Year

    9. Hilary Nelson

      There is no unbiased position in politics. There is no law against having a point of view. To be “neutral” in the face of the continuing occupation of Palestine is to give acceptance / approval to what Israel is doing. The facts speak for themselves. Philip Brooks’ comment speaks for itself. He knows who’s side he is on. Only history and his own conscience will judge him.

    10. Hussain Currimbhoy

      Sheffield Live is simply practicing freedom of speech and is responding to what listeners bring up. i love what Sheffield Live has done to create debate in a very politically active and astute city – one of the most politcally aware cities i’ve ever lived in – instead of just towing the line and believing what the mainstream media spout. i’ve been to the radio station a few times, its run by people who put their money with their mouths are. they are dedicated, intelligent people from every corner of the world who can vouch for the effects of political silence. Mr. Brooks, you should drop in some time and check it out for yourself before you pass judgement.

    11. Dave Campbell

      Philip Brooks,
      You say that Sheffield Live “has been hi-jacked by people only interested in promoting one side of the agenda”. So why not give us your side of the story? Surely there must be a positive spin that you can give to the dropping of phosphorous shells on a school and a United Nations foodstore? Or how about the theft of body parts from Palestinians shot by the IDF? Or maybe the denial of entry to Gazans in need of urgent medical care, unless they agree to become IDF informers?
      And I’d love to know what you find offensive about Sheffield PSC’s call for Freedom, Justice and Return ?

    12. Sara Gowen

      Sheffield Live is a community radio station that covers news from all the communities within Sheffield and it is an independent voice within a media that is all too often biased in the way that Phillip speaks about above.
      On this anniversary of the bombing of Gaza, I salute all Sheffielders who are prepared to stand for justice and peace across the world and I think in particular of Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the Sheffield Palestine Women’s Scholarship Fund who both offer vital practical support as well as continuing political support.

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