www.hastingsonlinetimes.co.uk     Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Dead Belgian

Dead Belgian at The Roomz

If there is one performance from the past that I would have liked to have witnessed it would have been Jacques Brel performing ‘Dans Le Port d’Amsterdam’ writes HOT’s John Knowles.


Wild Flowers

Guerilla gardeners launch scheme

The Hastings Trust is giving away wild-flower seeds to local residents, and a brand new BMX is on offer for the best photo of the flowers when they’ve grown.


Knitting with video tape

Knit your own fish and chip shop

As youngsters, we were told that making fishing nets was easy: all fishermen do is sew a few holes together!



Around and about (VIII)

Nature’s incredible beauty and wonder of creation. A passing through moth, writes HOT’s Zelly Restorick, spending a few breaths of its life at the bottom of my front door, spotted by observant friend and steady handed photographer, Rhian Thomas.


Laura Gill

Meet Laura Gill

From: Robertsbridge

Spotted outside Susan Diamond’s shop, 22 Kings Road.  

Laura described her style as an ‘unusual’, ‘unique’ and ‘alternative’ twist on practical chic.


Alasdair Beckett-King

Madcap mayhem at the Electric Palace

Multiple award-winning comedian Phil Kay will unleash his unique, madcap comedy this May at the Electric Palace, writes Annie Waite.


Ness Mann: Dive

Real Lives at the Kave

When Julia Andrews-Clifford and Ness Mann first met at a children’s group in Hastings, they had no idea of the exciting, shared journey ahead of them.


Jamie Harris

Kens Milk make St Leonards debut

Percussionist, Jamie Harris, bass player, James Davison and tenor saxophonist, Ken Beattie have combined their musical talents to create a unique fusion of music influenced by jazz, world music, funk, free improv and rock and roll in their new band, Kens Milk, writes HOT’s Zelly Restorick.


Hastings Planning Info

Planning matters

With the April 22nd deadline to comment on Shaping Hastings, the Hastings Development Management Plan fast approaching, local resident, Naomi Robinson, organised a support session at the White Rock Hotel to help people navigate the complicated forms, both in paper format and online.



IDLEHANDS & CO pop-up shop

Over the coming Easter weekend, iDLEHAND’s prints have a pop-up shop open in Hastings town centre.



Under threat of destruction for development

Under threat of destruction for development

Urgently needed! A few minutes of nature lovers’ time

Robsack Meadow, a grassland habitat rich in a wide spectrum of species that lies between Church and Robsack Woods is under threat of development, writes HOT’s Zelly Restorick, involving destruction of a stretch of adjoining ancient woodland next to a nature reserve.

Under threat of destruction for development

Under threat of destruction for development

If the development goes ahead, not only will the ‘meadow’ be destroyed, but Robsack Wood will be isolated and a vital corridor for nature will be lost.

Under threat of destruction for development

Under threat of destruction for development

There are other sites where housing can be built and targets reached without choosing a green space.

Under threat of destruction for development

Under threat of destruction for development

I’ve heard that the current resident species will be moved to other areas, but I feel these are empty, meaningless words, although no doubt they tick environmental planning boxes.

Under threat of destruction for development

Under threat of destruction for development

Want to object and get involved? Here’s the link. You need to register (so unfortunately I cannot give you the direct link to the specific page needed) and state that the planning is not sound, giving your reasons. Choose the Revised Proposed Submission Development Management Plan 10 March to 22 April. The area you need is Section 3, Site Allocations. Scroll down to Focus Area 2, Greater Hollington to GH1 Robsack A, Churchwood Drive. Then you have the chance to comment.

Please find the time to protect this important natural area.

Deadline: Tuesday 22 April 2104!

Please also check out my article on the local planning process and the Hastings Development Management Plan within this week’s HOT.

Posted 10:43 Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014 In: Home Ground

Palestinian Freedom Song

Palestinian Freedom Song

Focus on Palestinian prisoners

People often ask: where is the Palestinian Mandela / Gandhi / Martin Luther King? The answer is that they are mostly murdered or imprisoned, just as Mandela, Gandhi and King were, explains the Hastings Palestinian Solidarity group.

17 April is designated as Palestine Prisoners’ Day and to mark it (early!) Hastings Palestine Solidarity is holding a joint meeting with Hastings Against War on Tuesday 15 April.

Israel takes Palestinian prisoners for various reasons, mostly to demoralise and show who is boss or occasionally to exchange for some political gain. Arrests are also part of a system of information gathering.

Of the thousands that have been through the system, not a single one has had what we would class as a fair trial, with legal representation, adequate or any translation or a real chance to mount a defence.

Most of the prisoner issues are in the West Bank, which Israel conquered in 1967. Ever since then, this area, with a Palestinian population of some two and a half million, has been run as a military dictatorship by Israel’s occupation army, the IDF.

The laws made by the IDF are not subject to any democratic accountability, cannot be appealed and are up and running as soon as they are issued. Over 1000 of their ‘Military Orders’ dictate how people can live – and also give the IDF itself unlimited control over the land, its water and natural resources.

The IDF makes the law and also administers it: this covers rights to residence, land ownership and planning, access to water, road planning and building, the growing of trees and crops and even flowers, the transportation, import and export of produce, etc. For an idea of the magnitude of this military rule, see here.

These laws are used to rubber-stamp the occupation of buildings and vast tracts of land, either for military use or for the building of towns and cities, housing some 600,000 Israeli citizens, but not a single Palestinian.

The administration of the law  -  the issuing of permits and papers, arrests and questioning, law courts, prisons etc  -  is also unaccountable. Little wonder that the workings of the Justice System itself are deeply flawed and in breach of dozens of human rights requirements.

These laws and Orders also determine what people may read and what may be taught in schools. And the IDF has sweeping powers of search, invasion of private property, pursuit and ‘administrative detention’ without charge or trial.

With that all sewn up, people can be deported or fined, have their homes destroyed, be held up for hours at any of the hundreds of roadblocks and checkpoints – and arrested and imprisoned for contravening or resisting any law or Order. So Focus on Prisoners is just the tip of the iceberg of the effective imprisonment – i.e. deprivation of freedom and self-determination – of the whole population.

Photo from HPS

Photo from HPS

* Young children are routinely taken from their homes without an accompanying adult, in the small hours, handcuffed or shackled, bullied and browbeaten and threatened, used to gather information, sign statements in a foreign language confessing or implicating others in actions (usually stone-throwing), and then either returned home (so the whole matter is not even recorded as a statistic) or ‘tried’ in a military court with no defence, in a process that can take less than a minute.

* At times of rebellion or resistance, thousands of young men have been rounded up and packed off to camps for years.

* Prisoners are often kept within Israel, so it’s almost impossible for their families to obtain the necessary permits to visit them. This is in breach of international conventions.

* The taking of prisoners is less a matter of keeping order, but of repressing dissent, demoralising communities, impoverishing families through loss of breadwinners, applying pressure by causing physical and psychological damage to children and using prisoners as pawns and bargaining chips in negotiations.

M Barghouti

M Barghouti

* And yes, there is a ‘Palestinian Mandela’: his name is Marwan Barghouti and he has been kept for 12 years after a trial that was so stacked against him that he refused to plead. A campaign for his release was launched last year from Mandela’s cell in Robben Island, led by Mandela’s lifelong comrade, Ahmed Kathrada, and supported by Archibishop Desmond Tutu.



White Rock Hotel, 15 April, 7pm

With a speaker from Gaza, the film, Children in Chains  and the video of the new, Palestine Freedom Song, written by Rachel Lever, sung by Kat Lee Ryan and produced in Hastings

Hastings PSC  -  The Song

Hastings PSC member, Rachel Lever, woke up one night with a song in her head. “I’ve never even dreamed of writing a song, but now I’d written one in a dream”, she says.

Palestinian Freedom Song

Palestinian Freedom Song

It was the night after Nelson Mandela had died and the tune that went with the words was the anti-apartheid theme tune, now South Africa’s national anthem. A composer friend, Rob Weatherburn, worked the words and music together. Kat Lee Ryan of the Fabulous Red Diesel developed and polished the result and recorded it, and Rachel worked it into a video.

So Hastings’ talent has come together to create the Palestine Freedom Song. Watch it on YouTube here

Posted 21:09 Tuesday, Apr 8, 2014 In: Campaigns

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