15,000 March in London, in Solidarity with the
Palestinian People in Gaza
Stop the War, Al-Jazeerah, CCUN,
November 26, 2012
LINDSEY GERMAN REPORTS:
The calling of a ceasefire and atrocious weather did not deter 10-15,000
protesters from marching to show their solidarity for Gaza on Saturday, as
Lindsey German, national convenor of Stop the War, reports below. For a
video and pictures of the demonstration, see:
The march from Downing Street to
the Israeli embassy in Kensington was a marvellous display of solidarity
with the people of Gaza.
After eight days of brutal bombardment,
which left 160 Palestinians dead, around 40 of them children -- our
commitment to show Gaza that it was not alone was not dampened by the
ceasefire called two days ago.
Nor did the incessant and gloomy rain
stop the determination of 10-15,000 protesters from marching through London
to show the British government that the green light it gave to Israel's
assault was not in our name.
The crowd was very diverse, with lots of
young people and students and Anonymous masks mixing happily with hijabs and
We chanted, waved banners and placards and were
a constantly vibrant presence as we passed through some of the most affluent
parts of London to the Israeli embassy gates, where we were greeted by Tony
Benn, president of Stop the War Coalition, the first of the speakers to
express solidarity with Gaza.
Other speakers included delegates from
the Palestinian town of Jenin, the Egyptian novelist Adhaf Soueif, the
Palestinian ambassador to the UK Manuel Hassassian, MPs Jeremy Corbyn and
Andy Slaughter, speakers from the trade unions, and a representative from
the SOAS students who occupied their university in solidarity with Gaza.
Very well received was journalist Seumas Milne, repeating what he wrote
in his Guardian column last week, that Palestinians have every right to
Renowned film director and long time supporter of
the Palestinian cause, Ken Loach, was one of those not able to be there but
who sent a message of solidarity.
The demonstrators were
united in their determination not just to protest at this latest outrage by
Israel but to call for an end to the siege of Gaza and to see the day --
after 65 years of occupation and brutal repression -- when justice will be
achieved for all Palestinians.
The protesters were enthused by the
sense that Israel had been forced to curtail its attack -- at least in part
-- due to the changed balance of forces in the Middle East since the Arab
revolutions, and in particular since the overthrow of Egyptian dictator
The distorted media coverage, which has often seemed
little more than an adjunct to the Israeli propaganda machine, came in for
shouts of disapproval from the crowd -- not least when the BBC was
That the motivation for Israel's attack may in part have
been motivated by a plan to wage war next year against Iran -- as Britain's
chief rabbi Jonathan Sachs revealed inadvertently on BBC radio -- brought
roars of anger.
This particular Israeli attack may have ended, but
there is no such thing as an Israeli ceasefire where Gaza or the West Bank
Our campaign is but another step in the path to
freedom for Palestine. Campaigning will go on -- for a boycott of Israeli
goods and against any future wars in the Middle East. Stop the War will be
at the heart of these campaigns because our anti-war activity has always
been driven by an understanding that the issues of war and western
imperialism are inextricably linked.