Co-op bank closes Palestine Society’s bank account 19 clubs and societies co-release press statement condemning the “discriminatory action”, including five OUSU liberation campaigns and Wadham SU PSC has filed legal action under sections 13 and 29 of the Equality Act 2010 and has similarly called for members and supporters to move their funds away from Co-operative Bank accounts.They have said, “It appears that the decision was taken because of PSC’s support for Palestine. A decision based on active support of Palestinian causes – or on the nationality or religion of the Palestinian people – would be discriminatory. It is in the wider public interest to ensure that banks are held to account for their decision making processes; a bank cannot be above the law by virtue of its status.”A group of more than 15 Oxford student clubs and societies have condemned the bank’s actions. These include Rhodes Must Fall Oxford, the Oxford University Labour Club, the OUSU Women’s Campaign, the Oxford Students’ Jews for Justice for Palestinians and the Wadham College Student Union.A statement co-released by the groups reads, “We, the undersigned student clubs and societies at the University of Oxford, condemn in the strongest possible terms the discriminatory action taken by the Co-operative Bank against the Oxford Students’ Palestine Society, in closing their account. The bank has offered no transparent explanation, asserting that the Palestine Society, a university registered society, is ‘high risk’ and ‘no longer fit[s]’ within the Co-op’s ‘risk appetite’.“We view this as part of a process undertaken by the Co-operative Bank in the context of racist and discriminatory ‘counter-extremism’ measures, which has involved closing down the accounts of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and over 20 Palestine Solidarity Campaign branches and Palestinian human rights groups across the UK.” Oxford University’s Students’ Palestine Society (Pal Soc) has revealed that its bank account had been closed by the Co-operative Bank.A statement released today claimed that there was “no reasonable justification for this action,” and that the bank’s stated reason for the account closure was that the society is “high risk” and “no longer fits within [the bank’s] risk appetite.”A spokesperson for Pal Soc wrote, “The closure of Pal Soc’s account is part of a recent broader attack on solidarity organisations advancing Palestinian human rights across the UK. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), together with a further 20 grassroots organisations working for Palestine have also had their accounts closed by the Co-operative Bank. Pal Soc has therefore resolved to join the legal case launched by PSC against the Co-operative Bank on the grounds of discrimination. PSC and its legal team believe the Bank’s actions are discriminatory and contravene the Equality Act 2010.”They further called for “all Oxford University student societies, JCRs, MCRs, individual faculty, staff, and students, as well as all College and University bodies to show their solidarity by withdrawing their bank accounts from Co-op, and until such time as the bank accounts of all those grassroots and civic rights associations working for Palestine in the UK are reopened.”Student societies including @OxUniLabour and @RMF_Oxford in solidarity w PalSoc against @CoopBankUK account closure: https://t.co/gentCCYCyp— Oxford PalSoc (@PalSocOxford) December 11, 2015 Society to join Palestine Solidarity Campaign in legal action against the bank A group of students are preparing an SU motion to close our @CoopBankUK charities account after they shut down Oxford PalSoc’s #NotMyCoOp— Wadham SU (@WadhamSU) December 11, 2015But a representative for The Co-operative Bank explained that the closure was entirely a reflection of its legal obligations.She told Cherwell, “I would like to reassure you that this is not a reflection on the work carried out by many of our customers throughout the world, or a statement about the causes they support. We remain a committed supporter of many charities which can meet the industry level requirements.“In common with all banks, we have to perform due diligence on our customers, their accounts and the payments they make to ensure the Bank complies with anti-money laundering obligations and to manage the Bank’s risk. This is part of our normal banking processes and is an area where the Bank has made some changes recently to bring it into line with the industry generally. You may have seen in the press recently that there can be significant financial penalties when banks do not have adequate controls in place so these changes are timely and appropriate.“For customers who operate in, or send money to, high risk locations throughout the world, advanced due diligence checks are required by all banks to ensure the funds do not inadvertently fund alleged or proscribed activities. Depending on the particular circumstances it may not be possible for us to complete these checks to our satisfaction and the decision to close a number of accounts (including the PSC and some of its affiliates) is an inevitable result of this process. Unfortunately, after quite extensive research, the charities involved did not meet our requirements or, in our view, allow us to fulfil our obligations.“I would emphasise this is not a political or discriminatory decision but one based on our obligations. Clearly we have to meet our legal and regulatory requirements and we believe in the round our decision is consistent with our ethical policy. Our position has been discussed with and has the support of the Values and Ethics Committee which noted this is primarily a matter of adhering to banking regulations. I would also like to emphasise that these decisions have been made by the Bank’s management and have not been influenced by external agencies or our shareholders.“This does not mean that we cannot or will not facilitate humanitarian, educational, medical and human rights donations to the Gaza region. Many well known, national, registered charities do excellent work in these fields in Gaza and elsewhere and we make regular donations to some of these organisations through our current account and credit cards.”
RelatedAUDIO: Eguma Explains Striker Udechukwu Transfer SagaDecember 7, 2017In “Nigeria”NPFL: First Away Win A Morale Booster For ‘Contenders’ Rivers United – Eguma (AUDIO)November 25, 2019In “NPFl”NPFL: Former Pillars Stalwart Gambo Muhammad Signs For Katsina UnitedSeptember 12, 2019In “Nigeria” Rivers United Coach, Stanley Eguma has disclosed to www.busybuddiesng.com that Gambo Mohammed’s age was responsible for the club’s failure to sign the experienced Kano Pillars striker.Negotiations broke down between the Port Harcourt club and the former Super Eagles forward after reports suggested that the Pillars captain, who officially turns 30 next March, was on the verge of joining the 3-time NPFL Champions.In a chat with www.busybuddiesng.com, Eguma said the desire to sign younger players ensured Rivers United could not acquire the forward who helped Kano Pillars win three successive NPFL titles from 2012 to 2014.“For Gambo (Mohammed), he actually signified his intention (to join us) but along the line, our negotiations with him did not go through,” the former Enyimba assistant coach said.“We also put into consideration his age, like I told you; we are looking for younger players. We looked at Gambo’s age and we felt that we needed players that are younger and could be more vibrant.“That is why our conversation broke down halfway and we could not agree on terms.”Gambo Mohammed, who has been an integral member of Kano Pillars for close to a decade, fell out of reckoning from the first team last season.After his failed attempt to join Rivers United, NPFL Champions, Plateau United are reportedly interested in his services. Audio Player00:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.
Over four years have passed since the APNU/AFC coalition Government promised the Indigenous community in Guyana that it would relook at sections of the Amerindian Act of 2006, which they were not satisfied with but to date, changes are yet to be made.President David GrangerThis failed commitment by the Government has resulted in severe hardships on the livelihoods of Indigenous folks throughout the country, many of whom have cried out in recent months, about the Administration continuously making decisions that affect them without any consultation.Adviser to the Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Mervyn Williams on Friday told the media that despite the Indigenous peoples’ complaints, the Government has not adjusted the Amerindian Act of 2006 since they are engaging the Indigenous communities about revisions.Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Minister, Sydney Allicock“That process has started, it is a wide and deep consultative process, we have been consulting in several regions of Guyana. We have not touched all of the regions and we are receiving representations and recommendations for, in some cases strengthening, in some cases excising, in some cases including new provisions in the Act. Some people believe that the Act should be repealed in totality while others believe it requires some adjustment,” he told a media conference on Friday. He added that from process information is presently being compiled.Mervyn WilliamsHe further stated that the relevant Government agencies are working on a draft of an amended bill to present to Cabinet for its consideration, which will then be presented to Indigenous stakeholders to allow them the opportunity of perusing it.However, Williams did not provide a date or deadline as to when a draft bill would be completed.Six weeks ago, the latest land tenure report, the third of its kind, issued by the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) cited the present Administration’s failure to make amendments to laws regarding resource rights for the Indigenous peoples as a major factor for inherently limiting land tenure security across Guyana.“The Act fails to set out clear and fair rules for defining and agreeing on land titles and also lacks clear ways of resolving land disputes. The law gives overly broad discretion to the Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, which has resulted in land titling decisions that infringe upon Indigenous land rights, including titles…and titles that exclude key farming, hunting, fishing, or gathering grounds or important spiritual sites”.According to the document, the APNU/AFC coalition had promised that it would assist Indigenous folks and protect their rights but by failing to revise the Amerindian Act of 2006, it has done more harm than good.“Indigenous land tenure stem from the fundamental problem that the Government does not fully recognise the customary tenure systems of Indigenous peoples and the rights that arise therefrom,” it added.