Saturday’s Gaza solidarity demo in London (Video: Terry McGrath)
Thousands of people marched from Downing Street to the Israeli embassy in London today, Saturday, to send a message of solidarity with Gaza against Israeli aggression.
Coaches came from around Britain including Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool. The demo was called by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the Stop the War Coalition, who estimated between 10,000 and 15,000 protesters took part.
Brian Howell from Birmingham told Socialist Worker, “There may be a ceasefire now, but we know that this is not peace. Palestinians deserve freedom and the right to return. There will be no peace until those things are achieved.”
Chants of “One solution, revolution!” ran through the protest. One protester, Anna, told Socialist Worker, “I have Palestinian heritage and I’m sick of having to apologise for the resistance that Palestinians put up to Israel. They hold people in the West Bank and Gaza to ransom and attack them daily.”
Egyptian novelist Adhaf Soueif told the rally outside the Israeli embassy, “Some 90 percent of Israeli public opinion opposed the ceasefire. It was greeted with boos—yet Palestinians greeted it with joy.
“The world is changing. Around 500 Egyptians got through to Gaza—this has not happened in 40 years. They got through and, in a symbolic act, they gave blood.”
Guardian journalist Seamus Milne said, “Ninety years ago this country offered the people of a second country the land of a third. Palestine has become the great international cause of our time. We need to turn that into pressure to give them the rights so long denied to them.”
Longstanding campaigner Victoria Brittain listed all the Palestinian leaders that Israel has assassinated, often as they were trying to negotiate with Israel.
Azad Ali from Islamic Forum Europe, said, “The situation has changed. People aren’t afraid of Israel any more. Evil only flourishes when people allow it. Tell William Hague, ‘How dare you blame the victims’.”