Socialist Worker

Protesters rally at Downing Street against Israel's new attacks on Gaza

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2417

The protest in front of Downing Street

The protest in front of Downing Street (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Several thousand people joined an emergency protest in front of Downing Street in central London today, Saturday, against Israel's renewed bombing of Gaza.

Protesters were angry about the continuing siege--and the British government's support and arms sales to Israel.

Fatima and Hatize, two Turkish students living in London, told Socialist Worker, "What Israel is doing is not a war, it's ethnic cleansing".

Abdullah from Southport, Merseyside, said, "The ceasefires are just about buying Israel more time. If it's like previous negotiations, then there will be no peace.

"The siege of Gaza has to be lifted for any meaningful ceasefire to happen".

Rim Abdi from Walthamstow, east London, added, "The Palestinian people have suffered too much and too long. Yet our government won't condemn it.

“David Cameron needs to listen and stop supporting Israel."

The protest was supported by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition, Friends of Al-Aqsa, among others. Representatives of these organisations and others spoke at a rally.

Sarah Colborne from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign spoke about recent victories in the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel, particularly against the Sodastream company based in settlements in the occupied West Bank. Protests have led department store chain John Lewis to stop stocking its products, and the firm has shut its flagship store in Brighton. Sarah said, "This shows what we can acheive collectively."

John Rees from Stop the War Coalition pointed out that the warmongers in the West who back Israel are the same as those responsible for the war in Iraq.

"It's only a movement that says 'not in our name" that can stop them," he said. "That's why we will continue to protest."

Left wing Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn celebrated the huge wave of protests that have taken place this summer against Israel's attacks. He said, "We've seen the seen the biggest demonstrations in support of Palestine during the last few weeks.

"And we're not going away."

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