Up to 1,000 protesters forced Preston City Council to fulfill a promise to fly the Palestinian flag over Preston Town Hall tonight, Friday.
The council had agreed to fly the flag for the whole weekend from 5pm yet cancelled at the last minute citing email opposition.
The council raised the flag after demonstrators chanting "Free free Palestine" blocked the road and refused to leave.
Michael Lavalette, former socialist councillor in Preston, told Socialist Worker, “This comes after ten years of campaigning when I was first elected as a councillor. We have regularly marched and protested in support of freedom for Palestine.”
Stop the War supporters and campaigning group Children of the Ghetto originally approached Preston council about flying the flag.
Mukhtar Master, chair of Children of the Ghetto said, “The gesture is small. However its symbolism and meaning is monumental and historic.”
Activists recalled that the flag of the African National Congress flew over Preston town hall during the struggle against the racist apartheid system in South Africa.
Michael said, “The council only backed down because of the number of people out in the street. Whether in Preston or at a national level we can make a difference.
“Everyone needs to get out onto the streets, the Palestinians need our solidarity and we demand our government stop backing Israel and its assault on the people of Gaza.”
Join the national demonstration: Saturday 26 July, 12 noon Israeli Embassy, High St Kensington