Ahed Tamimi joins thousands of people in a UK march for Palestinian rights

March for Palestine
Fréa Lockley

On 11 May, Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi joined thousands of people demonstrating for Palestinian rights. Organisers said that they were protesting the “unprecedented attacks to the collective rights of the Palestinian people”.

“Israel continues to flout international law and violate human rights”

In 2017, Israeli forces arrested Tamimi. At the time, she was 16 and spent eight months in prison. She joined thousands of people who marched to show they “stand with Palestine”:

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As the march moved past Downing Street, demonstrators called on the government to “stop arming Israel” and to “stop bombing Gaza”:

Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition, Palestinian Forum in Britain, Friends of Al Aqsa, and the Muslim Association of Britain organised the march. 

In a press release, Ben Jamal, director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said:

As Israel continues to flout international law and violate human rights, there is a responsibility on the global community to hold it to account and push for an end to the oppression of the Palestinian people. Palestinians have called for renewed solidarity to support their resistance to unprecedented attacks on their collective rights.

He continued:

In the week when Palestinians commemorate their dispossession in 1948, we are marching to send a clear message that we stand in solidarity with them, and to call again on the UK government to end its complicity with Israel’s illegitimate control of Palestinian lives.

“We will not be made victims! We will continue to resist!”

Organisers explained that they are protesting against “unprecedented attacks to the collective rights of the Palestinian people” by the Israeli state. They’re calling for Israel to be held to account for its ongoing violations of international law.

Tamimi spoke to huge crowds at a rally after the march saying: “We will not be made victims! We will continue to resist!”

Labour’s Diane Abbott, Richard Burgon, and Lloyd Russell-Moyle spoke also spoke.

Salma Yaqoob from Stop the War coalition met Tamimi:

Jeremy Corbyn also stood in solidarity and said:

We cannot stand by or stay silent at the continuing denial of rights and justice to the Palestinian people…

The silence of many governments, including our own, has been deafening. The UK government should instead unequivocally condemn the killing of demonstrators – including children, paramedics and journalists – and other civilians, and freeze arms sales to Israel.

“Fundamental rights for Palestinian people

As organisers noted, this protest comes just a week after one of the deadliest bombing assaults on Gaza since 2014. Israeli forces killed at least 25 Palestinian people, including several children. Since March 2018, when Palestinian people began the Great Return March (Nakba), Israel has killed over 200 unarmed protesters including journalists, medics, and children. An estimated 29,000 people have also been injured. Nakba (Arabic for “catastrophe”) acknowledges the displacement of Palestinian people after the founding of the Israeli state.

The groups stated that Israel’s Nation State Law writes discrimination against Palestinians into the constitution. In recent elections, Benjamin Netanyahu also promised to annex Israel’s illegal West Bank settlements. Alongside leaked details of Trump’s impending ‘Deal of the Century’, there are many critical obstacles to achieving even the most basic fundamental rights for Palestinian people. But this protest sent a huge and powerful message that thousands of people stand with Tamimi and with all Palestinian people to end this oppression.

Featured image via screengrab

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  • Show Comments
    1. It is appalling that there was no national media coverage of the march. Are the media’s lawyers really so scared of being called antisemitic? We report rapes but that is not discrimination against rapists! When the mai stream media is being held to ransom all freedoms suffer.

    2. I am no youngster but I still don’t understand how the UK assumed the right to give Palestine to Israel.. The arrogance is horrendous and has caused so much wretchedness and destruction. A message to May – stop making money out of the deaths of hundreds of Palestinians.

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