Socialist Worker

Mass march in Middlesbrough

by Chris Newlove
Issue No. 2135

Protesters in Middlesbrough on Saturday of last week

Protesters in Middlesbrough on Saturday of last week

The biggest political demonstration in Middlesbrough’s recent history took place on Saturday of last week, as around 2,500 people filled the streets in support of Palestine.

The march, called by Teesside Against the War, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and various community groups, was lively and angry with people chanting against Israeli terrorism in Gaza.

It ended with a rally where speakers included Labour MP Frank Cook, journalist Yvonne Ridley and socialist Yunus Bakhsh.

The loudest cheers came when the speakers berated the British government for not breaking all ties with Israel. The loudest jeers were saved for any mention of George Bush and his complicit Arab leaders in the Middle East such as Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak.

One of the organisers of the demonstration, Pete Smith, summed up the day.

He said, “This was the biggest political and humanitarian demonstration in Middlesbrough’s history. Mayors, councillors, and ‘leaders’ cannot mobilise on the scale we can.

“People had a choice today – to stay home and be passive and silent, or come and raise their voice for the people of Palestine.” It seems a great many people chose the latter.

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