PROTESTS AND meetings in support of Palestine took place around Britain last week. A superb 5,000 people joined the Scottish Coalition for Justice not War demonstration in Glasgow last Saturday. Feeder marches from Southside and the West End of the city arrived in George Square to huge applause from fellow demonstrators.
Banners and placards denounced Bush and Blair's plans for a renewed war against Iraq. But it was the plight of the Palestinians which was uppermost in the demonstrators' minds.
There was an enthusiastic reception for the speakers at the rally in George Square. These included left wing activist Aamer Anwar, Scottish Socialist Party leader Tommy Sheridan and George Galloway MP. Other marches last Saturday included a lively demonstration of over 1,200 people through Newcastle.
Some 500 people marched through the streets of Oxford. The outpouring of support for Palestine has been shown in a vote by the national executive of the Unison union. It has passed a motion condemning Israel's continuing policy of state terrorism and supporting a boycott of Israel goods.
Activists in Unison are organising to use the motion to step up campaigning in local workplaces. Around 300 students attended a meeting on Palestine in Sussex University on Thursday of last week. They gathered to hear reports from nine of the students who visited Palestine over Easter.
The meeting lasted nearly three hours, but students were gripped by the accounts of what is happening in Palestine. Over 50 people attended a public meeting in Brixton last week, 'Stop Israeli war crimes-justice for the Palestinians.'
John McSweeney, who had recently returned from an International Solidarity Movement delegation to the West Bank, gave a harrowing eyewitness report from Bethlehem.
Over 1,000 leaflets were handed out on Brixton High Street last Saturday in support of the campaign to boycott Israeli goods. Around 30 pro-Palestine campaigners leafleted Liverpool city centre last Saturday with leaflets supporting the boycott of Israeli goods. Campaigners in east London are continuing to pressure their local council into twinning with the Palestinian town of Jenin.
A public meeting is due to be held on Thursday 16 May at 7.30pm in Davenant Hall, Whitechapel Road, London.