‘What is the guilt of children to be orphaned?’
Labour Outlook’s Sam Browse reports from Saturday’s London demonstration for Palestine.
Saturday saw demonstrations across the country against the ongoing bombardment of Gaza which has seen in excess of ten thousand Palestinian civilians killed, over 4000 of whom have been children.
As the Biden administration, tailed by the British Conservative government and Labour opposition, pivots to advocating for a “humanitarian” pause in the bombing only to deliver aid, the day of action brought thousands out on to the streets to demand an all-out ceasefire.
In London, demonstrators joined smaller actions across the city before convening in a mass demonstration in Trafalgar Square. People poured into the square carrying Palestinian flags and placards expressing solidarity with the beleaguered people of Gaza, but also those in the West Bank who have suffered increased violence and oppression from Israeli state authorities since earlier last month. The size of the demonstration meant that the nearby Charing Cross station needed to be closed to avoid overcrowding.
In an emotional demonstration led by Palestinians, the audience heard poems in both Arabic and English for those who had been killed by IDF bombing. In a particularly moving moment of the rally, the Palestinian speakers on the platform recited the names and ages of the children killed in the bombardment. Speaking on behalf of those children who had lost their parents, and responding to claims that the Israeli army is bombing only legitimate targets, a Palestinian young woman exclaimed to the audience ‘what is the guilt of children to be orphaned?’
Many of the contributions from the platform criticised the home Secretary, Suella Braverman’s recent characterisation of the demonstrations as “marches of hate” and railed against proposals to ban next Saturday 11th’s march for Palestine, which falls on armistice day. As both the speakers and placards held by demonstrators pointed out, ‘armistice’ means ‘ceasefire’.
The pressure for a ceasefire is growing. It’s vital to continue to build and get as many people on the streets for next Saturday’s demonstration – for an end to the bombing and a long-lasting peace base on justice and respect for the human rights of all.
You can see the Trafalgar Square demonstration in pictures below.
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