The protesters express their anger at Israel’s killing of civilians and children in Gaza, and demand that the UK government take action to stop the war crimes and support Palestinian rights.
More than 100,000 people marched through central London on Saturday to demand an immediate end to Israel’s bombing campaign and siege of Gaza, which has killed more than 8,000 Palestinians, including over 3,000 children, in the past three weeks.
The protesters, who came from diverse backgrounds and faiths, waved Palestinian flags and banners, chanted slogans such as “Free Palestine” and “End the genocide”, and let off fireworks and flares in red and green, the colors of the Palestinian flag.
The march, organized by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and other groups, was one of the largest pro-Palestinian demonstrations in UK history, matching last Saturday’s record turnout of around 100,000 people.
The protesters expressed their anger and frustration at the UK government’s refusal to back a UN resolution calling for a humanitarian truce in Gaza, which was passed on Friday with 14 votes in favor and one abstention by the UK.
The foreign secretary, James Cleverly, had said earlier that calls for a ceasefire “aren’t going to help the situation” and that the UK was working behind the scenes to de-escalate the conflict.
However, many protesters accused the UK of being complicit in Israel’s war crimes and enabling its aggression by providing diplomatic cover and selling arms.
Jeremy Corbyn Speaks
Among the speakers at the rally in Parliament Square were former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who said: “It’s not much to ask, a ceasefire, when children are being killed by weapons coming through the rooms of their homes. It is an eternal stain that the British government abstained on that vote.”
He also called for an end to the occupation of Palestinian lands, the lifting of the blockade on Gaza, and the recognition of Palestinian rights and statehood.
Other speakers included MPs from various parties, trade union leaders, human rights activists, celebrities, and representatives of Palestinian and Muslim organizations.
Many protesters also expressed their solidarity with Palestinians living under Israeli occupation in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, where they face daily violence, harassment, evictions, and settlements.
They condemned Israel’s recent attempts to forcibly displace Palestinians from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah and other neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, which sparked the current escalation of violence.
They also denounced Israel’s storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound during Ramadan, which injured hundreds of worshippers and provoked outrage across the Muslim world.
The protesters called on the international community to hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law and human rights, and to impose sanctions and boycotts until it complies with UN resolutions and respects Palestinian rights.
They also urged the public to continue supporting the Palestinian cause and raising awareness about their plight.
The march ended peacefully without any major incidents or clashes with the police, who estimated the crowd size at 100,000 people.
The organizers said they were overwhelmed by the massive turnout and thanked everyone who participated.
They also vowed to keep up the pressure on the UK government and Israel until they stop the bombing and siege of Gaza and end the occupation of Palestine.