WORK ON a 'wall' in Manchester to symbolise the wall of silence in the West over Palestinian rights started at 11am in front of the town hall last Saturday. Cardboard boxes were collected, banners were made and declarations, photos and Palestinian flags stuck onto the boxes. The demonstration started at 2pm. We carried the boxes to the square in front of Manchester town hall. Together we built the wall.
Over two metres high and 50 metres long, the wall spoke to the people of Manchester, telling the Palestinian story of dispossession and suffering, expressing our wishes for peace. Palestinian music echoed round the square, a message of sadness and of hope. There were approximately 200 activists and some interested members of the public.
Speakers from CND, Jews for Justice in Palestine, the Stop the War Coalition and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and many others passionately appealed for peace, for the demolition of the wall and an end to aggression in Palestine. Many Jews renounced their 'continuous, unconditional right of abode' in the state of Israel. They said they would happily offer their own 'right to return' to a Palestinian if it were possible.
The event ended with the demonstrators marching round the wall three times, and with shouts of 'Free, free Palestine!' everyone smashed the wall to pieces.