Socialist Worker

Protests break out over Israel’s terror

by Siân Ruddick
Issue No. 2204

As the news broke that Israel had attacked an aid convoy, activists took to the streets across Britain.

In London, the Stop the War Coalition and Palestine Solidarity Campaign had already called a demonstration to demand the convoy be allowed through.

This became a rallying point on Monday for people furious at Israel’s actions. Mandy Edwards told Socialist Worker, “I’m just so angry and cannot believe this has happened.

“The only reason that Israel thinks it can get away with this is because Britain and the US let it. Those governments give it billions of dollars of aid, most of it military, and all they have is soft words when they commit murder.”

At the rally outside Downing Street where the protest gathered, Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn said, “This demonstration is the voice of ordinary people on the streets of London.

“But where is the reaction from our leaders—the cuts in aid and the condemnation?

“This country is complicit in destroying the lives of Palestinians. Where are the sanctions against Israel?”

Parents had brought children on half term to the protest, and college and university students came in groups. Black and white stood together.

Lindsey German, convenor of Stop the War Coalition, said to the crowd, “If Iran had done this, there would be immediate sanctions. Why is there no action when it is Israel?

“We are here to mourn the deaths and injuries of those activists, but we are here because we are angry too.”

Chanting “Stop Israeli piracy, shut down the embassy”, numbers swelled to over 5,000 as the crowd marched the three miles to Kensington, where the Israeli embassy stands.

Rachel Harper, a student at London College of Communication, told Socialist Worker, “I am sick of Israel’s arrogance. The persecution of the Palestinians has been allowed to continue for generations.

“The only solution is for the borders of 1948 to be reinstated and for the state of Palestine to involve both Jews and Muslims as it was in the past.

“Without that, the Palestinians will be starved and butchered again and again.”

People came from Birmingham, Sussex and Essex for the London demonstration.

Around 2,000 protesters marched on the BBC in Manchester on Monday.

They were furious at Israel’s latest attack and enraged at the BBC’s pro-Israel bias. One protester climbed onto the roof and raised two Palestinian flags, to roars of support from the crowd below.

Across Britain: Around 500 protested in Birmingham, and around 250 in Preston. In Brighton around 200 people protested. Bolton saw around 200 protest in the city, with 150 coming out in York.

In Scotland up to 400 marched in Edinburgh, Glasgow saw 500 protest and 250 in Dundee.

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