Over 10,000 people demonstrated and marched in London on Saturday 24 November to condemn the Israeli bombardment of Gaza.
The turnout was greater than expected, considering that a ceasefire was declared last Wednesday and there was continuous rain all day, but people turned out to make their views and anger heard.
The march assembled at Whitehall near Downing Street, went along Piccadilly, round Hyde Park Corner – bringing all traffic to a halt – and ended at the Israeli embassy in South Kensington.
Among the chants were: “One, two, three, four, occupation no more”; “End the seige of Gaza, end the siege now”; “Free, Free, Palestine”; “Palestine will be free, Netanyahu you will see”; and Socialist Party members added the chant: “No to war and occupation, Spend the money on health and education”.
Osman and Salman, two demonstrators, explained: “We’re here for justice, and because the Palestine side of the story doesn’t get heard.
“We’re supporting innocent men, women and children in Gaza, their story needs to get out”.
Demonstrator Sammi Ibrahem said: “I am from Gaza. It is like a concentration camp there.
“Committees of Israeli officials even decide what food is allowed into the strip for the Gazans. Any moment people can be shot.
“Yesterday a young man was shot just for walking near the border, and this was after the ceasefire”.
Another protester, Mark Skelton, said: “I’m a catholic and I went to Bethlehem and Nazareth in March. I don’t agree with suicide bombings but Gaza is a small enclave and it’s being bombed to smithereens.
“Israel has built huge settlements; you can understand the massive frustration of the Palestinians”.
Latifeh, also on the demonstration, explained why she was there: “I’m Palestinian. What the Israeli military forces are doing is a complete violation of human rights.
“It’s an organised massacre and the western governments – like those of the UK and US – are doing nothing about it. In fact they’re supporting it”.