Over 100 pro-Palestine demonstrators took to the streets of Haverfordwest on Saturday 20 January where they staged a ‘mock Funeral’ on Castle Square representing 24,448 dead Palestinians who have been killed by Israel in Gaza in the last 100+ days. The protestors then marched on Conservative MP Stephen Crabb’s Office where the dead bodies were once again laid on the street and outside his office door.
Protesters inadvertently found a champagne bottle in the office’s recycling – highlighting the hypocrisy of the situation:
Still marching for Palestine
Since October 7th, Israel has killed over 25,000 Palestinians in Gaza; over 10,400 of these were children and over 7,100 women, while a further 62,681 have been injured. Israel has killed around 337 health workers, 117 journalists, and 152 UN staff – while 1.9 million Palestinians are now displaced with desperately limited access to food, medicines, and water.
Protester Ayesha Hussain stated:
It’s awful that we’ve had to come out again today because our MP Stephen Crabb has STILL refused to call for a ceasefire and stop the killing of innocent men, women and children in Gaza. It’s disgraceful that this is still allowed to happen. We won’t be going away. We will remain steadfast until Palestine is free and until Stephen Crabb grows a backbone and calls for a ceasefire.
One of the organisers Jim Scott of Stop the War Pembrokeshire said:
What kind of world are we living in where we have to make mock up dead bodies like this for a demonstration?
It is just beyond unfathomable what the people of Gaza are going through right now. Stephen Crabb & Simon Hart MPs have blood on their hands. Crabb isn’t just complicit in the killings in Gaza, he called for this in parliament in October before it even happened.
He’s the chair of the Conservative Friends of Israel and is part of their propaganda machine dehumanising innocent babies, children, women and men. This is genocide, nothing less and Crabb will be judged by history for this.
Crabb: support the ICJ ruling
The Campaign group Solidarity with Palestine Pembrokeshire has also begun delivering weekly open letters to Crabb. This week’s letter focused on the genocide case in the Hague against Israel’s war crimes – asking Crabb: “will you support the ICJ ruling”, if the international court decides that Israel is committing a Genocide in Gaza.
Campaigners announced that next week’s open letter to Crabb will be an invitation to meet with them and to discuss and justify his current position on the killings taking place in Palestine. Still, protesters lined up the shrouded mock bodies outside his office door:
Campaigner Farhana Akhtar said:
We have had to wrap white clothes around items to create make-believe shrouds to raise awareness and make a powerful statement. Sadly, it is not make-belief in Gaza. The only items coming to Gaza in surplus are shrouds and it’s abhorrent that most of these shrouds are tiny in size as Israel continues its onslaught against children. We will not stop. We will be the voice for the voiceless and we will not be deterred.
Key National Trade Unionists gave speeches at the rally, including Cerith Griffiths of the Fire Brigades Union Cymru and Mairéad Canavan a National Executive member of the National Education Union.
I am supporting the demonstration because this is a human catastrophe caused by the deliberate action of the Government of Israel and is clearly a war crime and an act of genocide. The UK government has failed to call for a permanent ceasefire and continues to give unconditional support to Israel. As a teacher I’m particularly horrified by the cost of the genocide to children.
Targeting those complicit with Israel
Since October 7, local demonstrations have repeatedly marched on Stephen Crabb’s constituency office as well as targeting Marks & Spencer and Barclays bank over their support for Israel’s war and occupation in Palestine, weekly vigils have also been held:
Mariam Akhtar who attended the protest said:
Children like me don’t have a chance in Gaza. So many have been killed by Israel but I will be their voice. I will protest and call for this violence to end. Me and many others again ask our MP to be kind and to be a human and stand up for humanity. We ask him to please please call a ceasefire and stand with innocent children.
It’s so sad to me that brown lives don’t seem to matter but when a white country like the Ukraine is occupied, everyone including us brown people stand against the oppressors and occupiers and we stand with humanity but our leaders are so evil that they won’t even call for the killing to stop.
Stop Israel’s genocide
With South Africa’s allegations of Genocide against Israel currently being heard by the ICJ in the Hague, organisers said “It is clear that Israel wants to ethnically cleanse Gaza of Palestinians”, adding that:
Biden, Netanyahu, Sunak, Starmer, and our own MP’s Crabb and Hart, are complicit in this war crime. We are rallying to send a clear message from Pembrokeshire to Crabb & Hart that this genocide must stop. We are rising up for Palestine and we are certainly not going away as Crabb has been claiming.
Saturday’s demonstration took place as part of coordinated local rallies around the UK following hundreds of such demonstrations since Israel’s war on Gaza began. National demonstrations have attracted hundreds of thousands of people on the streets of London – and organisers encourage everyone to join local and national rallies in support of Palestine and to demand an end to Israel’s genocide on Gaza.
Featured image and additional images via Stop The War Pembrokeshire
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.