The situation in the occupied territories is rapidly becoming a human catastrophe. Israeli forces are killing more and more people. Hamas is increasing its assault and killing people, too. But it’s ordinary people caught in the crossfire. Palestine may physically be thousands of miles away, but in the UK you can send its people a message of support. Because this weekend, demos are happening across the country.
The latest from Gaza/Palestine
As The Canary‘s Sophia Purdy-Moore recently wrote:
Since 10 May, the Israeli army has launched a number of deadly airstrikes on Gaza.
And since then we’ve seen Israeli military forces brutalising Palestinians protesting ethnic cleansing, and resisting forced expulsion from their homes. We’ve also seen Israeli police attacking worshippers. And in keeping with the apartheid regime, Israeli officials have refused to vaccinate a majority of Palestinians.
But things are getting worse. PA reported Israeli forces have so far killed 109 Palestinians, including 28 children. Its forces have wounded 621 people. Recently, PA reported that Israeli strikes killed Rafat Tanani, his pregnant wife, and four children. Meanwhile, US president Joe Biden has backed Israel’s actions.
Israel claims Hamas has killed seven people, including a six-year-old boy and a soldier. And now, Israel is getting ready for a potential ground invasion of Gaza. As PA reported, it has massed troops along the border and called up 9,000 reservists.
So, it’s well past the time when we need to act.
On Saturday 15 May, there are demos around the UK. As Purdy-Moore wrote, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign is leading a national day of action. The group has organised protests in cities across the UK, including London. 15 May is also Nakba Day. As Al Jazeera wrote:
May 15, 1948, is a date inked in infamy for generations of Palestinians who know it as the Nakba, or “the catastrophe”, after the declaration of the state of Israel in Palestine.
So, people will be protesting Israel’s apartheid against the Palestinian people.
There are over 30 Palestine demos happening across the UK. Stop The War Coalition (STWC) have done a round-up of them. Several are in major cities, but people have also organised local demos. Some of them include (with Facebook event links):
- Birmingham: Victoria Square, 2pm.
- Bristol: Castle Park, 2pm.
- Cambridge: Market Square, 11.30am.
- Edinburgh: Princes Street (corner of Castle St), 11am.
- Leeds: Leeds Trinity Centre (area outside Zara/Debenhams), 2pm.
- London: march to the Israeli Embassy; assemble Speaker’s Corner (near Marble Arch tube station), 12pm.
- Manchester: Platt Fields Park, Rusholme, 12pm.
- Newcastle: Grey’s Monument, 11.30am.
- Sheffield: Sheffield Town Hall, 12pm.
There is also another demo happening in London. The group Apartheid Off Campus has organised a joint Colombia/Palestine demo. As The Canary previously reported, in Colombia police have been killing civilians who protested proposed government tax hikes. So, there will be demos outside both the Colombian and Israeli embassies:
This Saturday meet at the Colombian Embassy in London at 12pm, then march to the Israeli Embassy.
— Apartheid Off Campus (@AOC_movement) May 12, 2021
Watch out for the feds
But as always, if you’re attending a Palestine demo expect a police presence. As The Canary‘s Emily Apple previously wrote, make sure you know your rights. Follow these simple steps from legal group Green and Black Cross to protect yourself on protests. Make sure you read The Canary‘s full details of them here:
- NO COMMENT.
- DON’T GIVE POLICE PERSONAL DETAILS.
- ASK WHAT POWER UNDER THE LAW ARE THE POLICE USING?
- DON’T ACCEPT A DUTY SOLICITOR.
- DON’T ACCEPT A CAUTION.
Also, watch out for the so-called ‘Blue Bibs’. These are police liaison officers. They may appear friendly and make idle small talk. But they are actually trying to get info on you and those you’re protesting with. So, do not engage with them at this weekend’s demos.
Raising collective voices for Palestine
If you can’t physically get to a demo, at 5pm there is a global online rally via Zoom. You can register for that here. On social media, make sure you use #FreePalestine, #SaveSheikhJarrah, and #Nakba73.
The Palestinian people need our support. Because while our politicians sit on their hands, people are dying. The very least we can do is get out on the streets. We can send a message of resistance to all parties involved. And we can also show the innocent people suffering at this time that we care.
Additional reporting and featured image via PA
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