By Héctor Sierra
Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2910

Thousands on the march in Glasgow for Palestine

A workplace day of action is set for 27 June
Issue 2910
Dense crowd of protesters with placards saying "Gaza stop the massacre"

Solidarity with the Palestinians in Glasgow on Saturday (Picture: @DrLoupis on Twitter)

Over 5,000 people took to the streets of Glasgow for the national demonstration called by the Stop the War Coalition Scotland, the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Scottish TUC union federation.

The marchers’ main slogans were “Free Palestine” and “Stop Arming Israel”. Protesters also called for an end to the spread of war in the Middle East and for “Welfare, not warfare”.

Protesters staged sit-ins along the route, shutting down one of Glasgow’s busiest roads in the city’s southside. Locals lined the streets at points, applauding marchers as they passed.

Angela McCormick and Mohammad Asif from Stop the War, introduced speakers at a rally at Queen’s Park. It included former first minister Humza Yousaf. Opening the rally, he said, “The first thing Keir Starmer should do when he becomes Prime Minister is to recognise the state of Palestine and stop arming Israel”.

British Palestinian surgeon Dr Ghassan Abu Sitta, who students at Glasgow university elected as rector earlier this year, said, “Anyone who stood on the wrong side of history should have their political careers ended on 4 July”.

The march had a sizeable trade union bloc. There were the national, Edinburgh and Glasgow banners from the EIS education union, City of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Fife, New College Lanarkshire, Glasgow Clyde from the FE section  and the grassroots network in the union—Scottish Educators For Peace.

Other unions represented included FBU Scotland, NUJ Scotland, Unite Scotland, Glasgow Retired Members, West of Scotland Not For Profit and  Unite Hospitality.

Also seen were RMT Solidarity with Palestine, UCU Glasgow and Edinburgh, Unison Glasgow, trades Councils from Edinburgh and Aberdeen, Health Workers 4 Palestine, and flags from PCS and other unions.

The EIS, RMT, UCU, FBU and PCS unions were official backers of the demonstration.

Other banners there included Dima AlHaj, Paisley for Palestine, Scottish Catholic Justice & Peace Commission, Scottish Jews For Ceasefire (Namod) and Jews Against Antisemitism and Islamophobia.

Lindsey German, convenor of the Stop the War Coalition, said, “Israel has lost the war of public opinion. It’s losing the war because of the resistance of the Palestinian people.”

Linda Somerville from the STUC said, “We are forcing companies and organisations to come clean and break their links with Israel. We’re committed to boycott, divestment and sanctions.”

Fiona, a leading activist in the Aberdeen student encampment brought solidarity to the march. The encampment ended this week. She said, “Solidarity from trade unions helped us students win. Now we want you to take action so that we can give you the same solidarity.”

The workplace day of action called by Stop the War on 27 June was advertised as one of the next key steps for the movement.

Angela McCormick congratulated the Gaza Genocide Emergency Committee which has organised weekly protests and demonstrations in Scotland since last October.

“Stop the War has been out with you every weekend,” she said.

The demonstration showed a united movement can bring together the social weight of trade unions, faith and civil society organisations with the most radical and militant elements of the movement.

Thanks to Kathleen Sherry and Raymie Kiernan

  • In England and Wales, campaigners scheduled around 30 local protests for Saturday and Sunday. 

Around 150 protesters joined together outside Hackney town hall in east London.

They came from Dalston in Hackney and from neighbouring borough Tower Hamlets to the encampment which is demanding the council breaks links with Israel and divests from companies that back the genocide.

Marching to the town hall, demonstrators chanted, “Hackney council we won’t rest, until you disinvest.”

  • The next national march for Palestine in London is on Saturday 6 July at 12 noon. For details go here

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