“The Palestinian people will never be alone in their struggle for justice. We stand in solidarity, today & always.”Zarah Sultana MP
By the Arise Volunteer Team
Labour left MPs joined thousands of mainly young and noisy protesters gathered outside Downing St on Tuesday evening to show solidarity with Palestinians under attack in Sheikh Jaffar and at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and those now facing Israeli military air strikes in the Gaza Strip.
Called at short notice by Palestine Solidarity Campaign and a host of supportive organisations, including the Stop the War Coalition, Whitehall was filled with a sea of Palestinian flags whilst Labour MPs left the Commons to demonstrate support and many more voiced their concern on social media.
Former Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, at the rally, said ‘our solidarity here in London is to bring about the permanent peace in which the Palestinian people will no longer every be under occupation again’.
Zarah Sultana also addressed the crowds gathered outside Downing St, where she said those attending, ‘showed that the Palestinian people will never be alone in their struggle for justice. We stand in solidarity, today and always.’
On social media, Jon Trickett said, ‘The violent attack on fasting worshippers at al-Aqsa Mosque is a breach of International Law’ whilst Claudia Webbe said ‘one side is the occupier. The other side is occupied’, making clear that the conflict is uneven and that Palestinians must be protected by international law.
Socialist Campaign Group of MPs Secretary, Richard Burgon, said, ‘We must now step up opposition to Israel’s illegal and immoral occupation of Palestine.’
Apsana Begum wrote to the Prime Minister and said ‘the UK should not be complicit in Palestinian oppression. That govt should withdraw economic support of Israeli forces targeting Palestinian civilians, worshippers and children’ and Mary Foy wrote to the Foreign Secretary to demand action to protect Palestinians from oppression. Rachel Hopkins and Sarah Owen also wrote to the Foreign Secretary to condemn the eviction of families from Sheikh Jarrah and the continued annexation of Palestinian land.
Other Labour MPs attending the demonstration included Kim Johnson, Charlotte Nichols and Imran Hussain.
Imran Hussain was one of a number of MPs who joined an Urgent Question in the House of Commons on Wednesday, where he said, ‘The silence of the international community is deafening… how many times will we come back to this House to debate the persecution of the Palestinians? And when will the international community finally wake up?’
Labour left campaigners should build solidarity with the Palestinians and have an opportunity this weekend, as Palestine Solidarity Campaign has called a further protest on Saturday 15 May, assembling at 12 noon at Marble Arch and marching to the Israeli Embassy.
- See more on the facebook event: MARCH TO THE ISRAELI EMBASSY #SaveSheikhJarrah #FreePalestine