Ken O’Keefe speaks at Made In Palestine event in Scotland – video

Salem News | July 7, 2011

Hip Hop concerts across the UK raise funding & awareness for Convoy to Gaza

Ken O'Keefe
Ken O’Keefe – World Citizen

(SALEM, Ore. / GLASGOW) – “If it wasn’t for Ken O’Keefe none of this would be happening,” Scottish Hip Hop Artist/Youth Worker and Political Activist Eastborn said to the audience in Glasgow.

The Trade Not Aid UK Tour is being conducted to connect the people of England, Scotland & Wales to the people of Palestine in a physical, tangible way.

The Fourth of July concert, “Made in Palestine” was headlined by Eastborn and the 13th Tribe (2011 Drop Zone Records). The group is contributing all proceeds from their track “River to the Sea” to help build and support the Samouni Project Community Centre in Palestine.

Ken O’Keefe is the head of the Samouni Project Convoy to Gaza, which Eastborn will accompany later this year.

An impassioned group of people came together at this special event to show their solidarity with those in Palestine, who are endeavoring to find peace and security in their homeland, and to hear Ken O’Keefe speak of his personal experiences and plans for the near future.

“You know I feel like I’m getting a little bit older here,” O’Keefe began.

“I’m 42 years old now but deep down I look into this audience and see young people and I am sure I can relate to most of you. In that this f—ing world is bullshit! And the way that it’s happening is because we haven’t realized our power and our ability to change it. And you know what? That is changing in a significant way.”

“It’s been an amazing time. I just got back from Gaza, six months there.

‘Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.’
~Universal Declaration of Human Rights

“And when I went to Gaza in November of 2010, Mubarak was in power, none of these Arab uprisings had begun. And what I see now in the Arab world, young people in particular who have said ‘this is f—ing bullshit, we’re standing up and it doesn’t matter- you can kill us, you can torture us, you can imprison us, you can do whatever you want. but we’re still going to f—ing rise up!’

“And you know, I look to the west and I’m proud- although I still have my accent, I’m a proud Irishmen as well and I see the strength of my brothers and sisters in Ireland.

“I know the Scots, though it’s my first time in Scotland, I know that you’ve got a lot of strength and a lot of anger and I can relate to that. And the thing is, that anger is extremely powerful and if it’s directed in the wrong way it becomes destructive and doesn’t really help anyone, but if you direct that shit correctly its f—ing powerful.

“We can achieve anything we want and I can tell you that being in Palestine is such an honor, such a blessing because my brothers and sisters down there have been through some shit for decades.

“They’ve been dealing with the most racist, sadistic, nasty system, the Zionist system, and they still stand tall and they still have their dignity. They’ll die in droves but they will never give up, they will never abandon their homeland and they will continue to fight when the rest of the world has largely abandoned them.

“But, finally- finally! the world is starting to realize that that IS our family over there.

“While I was there, I became close with the Samouni family and if you don’t know this family- during Operation Cast Lead a couple of years back, the Israelis came into Gaza and told this family, this very large family, 200 plus members to go into certain places and about 100 of them were told to go into one home and while they were in that home the Israelis shelled it.

“They killed about 29 members of this one family.

“We’re talking about children who were dead, and their corpses were next to their parents. And they had parents whose corpses were on the ground next to their children, and for days they were not allowed to get any medical help, and when they did try and go out with white flags, they got shot at and killed by the Israelis.

“And this is what they dealt with, and I became very close with this family including the children, they are my family now.

‘All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.’
~International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

“What this project is for, initially, is for the Samouni family, we’re going to build a classroom for them, we have a teaching staff ready to go and these kids which have been from f—ing hell and back are already starting to see a future and they’re smiling and it’s such a blessing to be able to do this.

“The money raised at this event I’m telling you is going to that, but in the larger picture its going to JUSTICE.

“And I’m telling you: where Palestine goes, the rest of the world goes. If Palestine isn’t free- we’re not going to be free. We free Palestine- this world will be free and there will be justice.

“So I believe we should be focused on Palestine, we should give everything to Palestine and we should defeat this Zionist racist entity,” Ken O’Keefe said.

“It’s the only way.”

The humanitarians are planning the convoy which will depart from London and make its way to Gaza as a part of Samouni InterTrade Palestine, a social enterprise international trade mission.

At least half a dozen large trucks and vehicles are slated for the convoy, and the group continues to collect more and more valuable items to transport.

Among the convoy drivers will be members of the Samouni family. Cargo is expected to include raw materials such as textiles and building materials, industrial machinery, agricultural tools and equipment integral to the economic development and rebuilding of Gaza. Beekeeping supplies included.

Once in Gaza, the group will help with the construction of the Community Centre building in the bombed out area, “to stand as a defiant symbol to this disgraceful act.”

The Centre will be complete with classrooms to help educate the local children and as a long-standing benefit to the entire community.

WATCH Ken O’Keefe on Stage (EVENT VIDEO):

Special thanks to DropZone Records

The best part of the entire plan comes at the end. After offloading the cargo, the convoy plans to immediately begin reloading the trucks with “Made in Palestine” products which will be exported to markets abroad.

Unlike the free trade that is conducted between Israel, the EU and the United States, there will be no trading of weapons whatsoever.

“We endeavour to catalyze the end of Gaza’s charitable dependency status through import and export trade,” said O’Keefe.

“We do not seek simply to alleviate the suffering of the people in Gaza. Our ultimate objective is to eliminate preventable, blockade-derived suffering. We recognise the loss of dignity that is inherent in compelling a people to live on aid. We are focused on the root of the problem and thus we are committed to replacing aid with trade.”

The humanitarians’ objective is to transport people and cargo through Rafah Crossing, at Egypt, without obstruction, and continue doing so on a regular basis in order to enable a tangible, viable trade economy for Gaza.

Before long there will be olives and peppers, and honey and handmade goods, and tons of beautiful fresh carnation flowers coming from Gaza- direct to a retail outlet near you.

“In the long-term,” O’Keefe said, “our goal is for Gaza to be rebuilt, its infrastructure functioning to capacity, for an egalitarian economy to develop and a transformation from despair to prosperity to take place.”

To a growing number of people around the world, this plan to create a self-sustaining society once more is a shining example of what can be accomplished when only the best interests of the people are at the heart of the project.

Mission leader Ken O’Keefe will be speaking and meeting people in all of the cities below. The Trade Not Aid Tour is raising funds for the convoy to Gaza, and collecting donations of items as well.


If you would like Ken to speak at your event in one of the listed cities, email:

Trade Not Aid Tour

Reading 10th July (Sunday 12pm – 9pm) Reading – Reading Mela 2011, Palmer Park, Wokingham Road, Reading, RG6 1LF
Birmingham 11th July (Monday 12pm – 9pm)
Leicester 12th July (Tuesday 12pm – 9pm) – Jame Masjid, 51 Asfordby Street, Leicester, LE5 3QG
Liverpool 13th July (Wednesday 12pm – 9pm)
Manchester 14th July (Thursday 12pm – 9pm)
Bradford 15th July (Friday 12pm – 9pm)
Newcastle 17th July (Sunday 12pm – 9pm)
Glasgow 18th July (Monday 12pm – 9pm)
Blackburn 19th July (Tuesday 12pm – 9pm)
Nottingham 20th July (Wednesday 12pm – 9pm) – The Market Place, Hyson Green, next to ASDA, NG7 6AP
Birmingham 21st July (Thursday 12pm – 9pm)
London 22nd July (Friday 12pm – 9pm)
London 23rd July (Saturday 12pm – 9pm)
Luton 24th July (Sunday 12pm – 9pm)
Milton Keynes 24th July (Sunday 12pm – 9pm)
Slough July 25th (Monday 12pm – 9pm)
Bristol July 26th (Tuesday 12pm – 9pm)
Gloucester July 27th (Wednesday 12pm – 9pm)
Swansea July 28th (Thursday 12pm – 9pm)

Help Support this project! For more information: Samouni-Inter-Trade-Palestine
Support Trade Not Aid Palestine
Download Eastborn’s newest track at and on iTunes.


Publisher Bonnie King has been with since August ’04. Bonnie has a wide ranging media background and in her career she has served in a number of positions in the broadcast industry; TV Production Manager at KVWB (Las Vegas WB) and Producer/Director for the TV series “Hot Wheels in Las Vegas”, TV Promotion Director for KYMA (NBC), and KFBT (Ind.), Asst. Marketing Director (SUPERSHOPPER MAGAZINE), Director/Co-Host (Coast Entertainment Show), Radio Promotion Director (KBCH/KCRF), and NIE/Circulation Sales Manager (STATESMAN JOURNAL NEWSPAPER). Bonnie has a depth of understanding that reaches further than just behind the scenes, and that thoroughness is demonstrated in the perseverance to correctly present each story with the wit and wisdom necessary to compel and captivate viewers.


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