By Thomas Foster
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Protesters rage against Israel’s attack on Rafah

The protest outside Downing Street came as the student movement in the US and Britain grows
Issue 2904
A crowd shot of the Rafah protest outside Downing Street

On the Rafah protest outside Downing Street

Around 5,000 people raged against Israel at the emergency protest outside Downing Street, central London, on Tuesday. The demonstration was called after Israel rejected a ceasefire proposal and ramped up its slaughter in Rafah.

Protesters blocked the road and chanted, “One solution, revolution.”

Danny from north London told Socialist Worker, “Israel doesn’t want to accept any ceasefire deal. They have their agenda. Israel wants to take over the whole of Gaza and they’re getting away with it.

“We have to push back against the whole establishment.

“We need to go beyond a ceasefire. We need a Palestinian state. That can only happen if the Arab countries stop siding with the West, or the people in the West stand up and revolt.”

One speaker argued that people around the world must stand against Israeli settler colonialism. He said, “The Zionist genocidal state cannot succeed. It’s killing an entire people.”

He added, “Israel’s genocide has exposed a hypocrisy. Currently, across the road, they are flying a Ukrainian flag above Downing Street. Where is the Palestinian flag?” Our rulers “have unknowingly stirred a revolution, a revolution that will smash the gates of the prisons that hold Palestinian hostages”.

“It’s our duty to write on the pages of history the liberation of Palestinians,” he said.

Labour MP John McDonnell said, “We are witnessing a massacre, a mass murder and yet the government does nothing.

“There must be no more arms to feed Netanyahu’s war machine. Benjamin Netanyahu is a war criminal. We must keep marching, shouting and demonstrating.

“I offer solidarity to all those students encamping across the world, and the workers picketing factories to prevent arms. We will not rest until we bring the children of Gaza peace and justice.”

A member of Jewish Voice for Labour said, “What sort of country responds to a ceasefire proposal by attacking Rafah and killing children? It’s not a Jewish or Muslim issue, it’s an issue of humanity. We have to oppose this brutality.”

Jenny from Coventry said, “The forced displacement of Palestinians must be stopped. Women, children and men—thousands of lives have been lost. We’ve got to stand up and fight back.”

  • Over 1,000 people marched from Manchester city centre to the university Palestine encampment. Other events took place in Liverpool, Derby, Weymouth, Dorchester, Bridport, Hastings and Brighton.

Calendar of resistance
  • Wednesday 8 May: Globalise the campus resistance: international student-staff assembly, 7.30pm, Register for Zoom link here and share bit.ly/campusresistance24

Hear from students and staff building encampments in Britain, the US, Paris and more.

  • Thursday 9 May:  Stop the War has called an activists’ meeting at the Palestine 21 Gallery, 21-27 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD, 6.30pm to discuss action including building for the 18 May demonstration.
  • Saturday 11 May:

NW England regional march: Assembly 12 noon Metropolitan Cathedral, Liverpool, L3 5TQ to march to St George’s Hall for a rally.

SW England regional Nakba Day march: 12 noon, College Green, Bristol

  • Saturday 18 May: The coalition organising the national marches has confirmed another national demonstration to mark the anniversary of the Nakba when Zionist settlers and militias forced at least 800,000 Palestinians off their land to make way for the Israeli state. It will also step up demands for an end to the genocide and to the arming of Israel. 

Assemble 12 noon, BBC Portland Place for march to Whitehall, London. Route map here https://x.com/PSCupdates/status/1786380570617946278

  • Saturday 8 June: Stop the War trade union conference 10am-4.30pm, Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road, London, N7 6PA. Details here or share at tinyurl.com/STWconf0806

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