Estelle Cooch reports:
Many were astonished by the size and speed with which the Gaza protests emerged last week.
The recent crisis has been a turning point for media coverage of the conflict. The New York Times ran on its front page last week a photo of assaulted Palestinian American teenager Tarek Abu Khdeir, shocking some its less pro-Palestinian readers.
The solidarity protests this time have been noticeably bigger, reflective of the hard work activists have put in to building BDS in between Israel’s murderous outbursts.
In 2012 during Operation Pillar of Defense, 2,000 flocked to the Israeli embassy in Kensington. This was far exceeded by the numbers there last Friday, which some put at close to 10,000.
Click here for a report on the demo.
But the protests were not just limited to London. In Manchester during the 2012 Gaza crisis, 200 marched through Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester. This time thousands marched to the BBC and ITV studios in Salford to protest their lack of coverage.
Meanwhile in Cambridge, Zareen reports:
“The anxiety and urgency of demonstrators at Market Square today was palpable. As the day heated up so did tempers. A woman passer-by professed that the fault was on Palestinian side and Lebanon weren’t helping. Several demonstrators had to be held back as they argued the Palestinian case. Despite a heavy tourist presence there was a good take up of signing the petition urging our government to recognise Israeli war crimes and people came forward to ask for leaflets to get information of which groups to join and where to get info from.
It was heartening to see young people on their bikes come join the procession as we marched around Market Square and onto King’s Parade. The lads on their pitch trying to get people to take up punting actually took leaflets off me and joined in the chanting! My favourite chant of today was to the tune of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall”: “We don’t need no occupation, we don’t need no apartheid wall. Hey, Israel! Leave our kids alone! All in all, Israel, one day you’re gonna fall!”
In Birmingham Shanice reported that she had never seen a demonstration this big in the city centre.
And, meanwhile, across the other side of the globe Tad reported 3,000 at the start of the pro-Palestine demo in Sydney, Australia.
Next Saturday there will be a national demonstration called by Stop the War and others. Assemble 12 noon at Downing Street. For more information click here.