“Discriminatory” bank shuts Palestine Society’s account

first_imgCo-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, 2015center_img 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.”last_img read more

Woman seriously injured in motorcycle crash Tuesday

first_imgIndianaLocalNews TAGScrashIndianainjuriesLincolnway WestMiddleboro AvenueMishawakamotorcycleseriously injured (95.3 MNC) A woman is seriously injured after she was struck by a vehicle while riding a motorcycle in Mishawaka Tuesday.The crash happened just before 2:30 p.m. near the intersection of Lincolnway West and N. Middleboro Avenue.Police report a Nissan Altima was traveling eastbound on Lincolnway West and attempted to turn left into a parking lot when it collided with a westbound motorcycle.The motorcyclist was taken to the hospital with serious injuries, including several broken bones.The driver of the Nissan was uninjured and remained at the scene.The investigation remains ongoing. Twitter By Brooklyne Beatty – April 7, 2021 0 350 Google+ Twitter WhatsApp Woman seriously injured in motorcycle crash Tuesdaycenter_img Facebook Pinterest Google+ Facebook Pinterest WhatsApp Previous articleNappanee Public Library hosts Centennial Creative Writing ContestNext articleTwo people recovering after shooting on North Frances Street in South Bend Brooklyne Beattylast_img read more

Press release: PHE scientists lead science workshops for 1,800 pupils

first_img It’s important that the current generation of scientists informs and inspires the next generation, and shows young people the range of routes and opportunities they can pursue within world-leading UK science. We are thankful for the scientists taking part in British Science Week workshops across the country, and hope that their efforts encourage the pupils to consider a career in science as a viable and exciting option. As part of this year’s British Science Week, 1,800 pupils from 10 schools across England are being given the opportunity to take part in interactive science workshops hosted by Public Health England (PHE) scientists.From pupils extracting DNA from their own cells using household products, to a science and health-related game of Pictionary and quizzes on air pollution, the aim of these workshops is to inspire the young people to consider a career in science and showcase the variety of areas within science they could pursue.British Science Week is an annual 10-day event, with this year being its 24th year running. It encourages organisations, professionals in the science sector, science communicators and the general public to hold events that get people involved in scientific activities.This year, PHE is expanding its reach to 10 schools across 3 regions: the North (Manchester, Salford), South West (Bristol, Cheltenham and Torquay) and South East (Harlow). During the week, there will be 25 PHE scientists leading interactive science workshops for pupils aged 13 to 14 years old.The scientists taking part specialise in a range of disciplines, including toxicology, microbiology, environmental public health, microscopy, vaccine research and epidemiology.Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of PHE said: British Science Week is an annual event and in 2018 takes place between 9 to 18 March. Schools attending the sessions are: Burnt Mill Academy Forest Hall School Mark Hall Academy Stewards Academy Passmores Academy Torquay Academy Fairfield School All Saints’ Academy All Hallows R.C. High School Walkden High School Public Health England exists to protect and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities. We do this through world-leading science, knowledge and intelligence, advocacy, partnerships and providing specialist public health services. We are an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care, and a distinct organisation with operational autonomy. We provide government, local government, the NHS, Parliament, industry and the public with evidence-based professional, scientific expertise and support. Follow us on Twitter: @PHE_uk and Facebook: www.facebook.com/PublicHealthEngland.center_img Sarah Robertson, Senior Environmental Health Scientist at PHE said: I speak for all of the scientists involved when I say that we are excited to take part in British Science Week and showcase just a few of the many disciplines within science to the students. Although a large proportion of our time is dedicated to research, outreach work such as these interactive workshops is also our responsibility, particularly to highlight the breadth of our roles to young people. Science and research are imperative in our world and we must ensure that the future workforce continues to be made up of talented and passionate individuals. PHE is in the process of creating a world-leading centre of excellence for public health research, improvement and protection, and a new headquarters, at the vacant GlaxoSmithKline site in Harlow. This will involve relocating facilities from Porton in Wiltshire and Colindale in north London, as well as the current central London headquarters. PHE Harlow is expected to be fully operational by 2024.Backgroundlast_img read more