People across the world protested today, Saturday, against Israel’s ongoing airstrikes against Gaza.
In London thousands rallied outside Israel’s embassy in the afternoon. A group of women held placards asking drivers to “honk for Gaza”. Bus drivers, motorists and cyclists made a deafening noise as they passed.
“This isn’t the first time Israel has brought bloodshed to Gaza,” said NHS worker Navid. “William Hague makes me sick. He gives a green light to Israel, just like he does to the regimes in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.”
Many protesters noted how the Arab revolutions had shifted the balance of power in the Middle East. “Israel hasn’t got the same friends it used to now,” Walid, a student from west London, told Socialist Worker.
“Hosni Mubarak is gone from Egypt. The new government knows that if Egyptian people don’t like what it is doing, they will go back to Tahrir Square to change it.”
Another protester, Sadia, said, “People in Egypt made me see that you can get change—but you have to fight for it. I hope that helps people in Palestine not to feel hopeless or alone. I hope they see our protest and see that people here care.”
There were flags and banners representing different countries from across the region. Jumanah was one of a group of London Syrians with a Syrian revolutionary flag.
“It’s our duty to show support when our brothers and sisters in Gaza are suffering,” Jumanah said. “Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad says he is for the Palestinians. But where is he when Gaza is being bombed? And why did he sell the Golan Heights?
“If our revolution is successful, the first thing it will do is take back the Golan Heights. It will be a first step in getting all the Arabs to stand together against Israel.”
Other protests took place across Britain, including in Oxford, Cardiff, Swansea, Edinburgh and Manchester.
The Stop the War Coalition and Palestine Solidarity Campaign have called a national demonstration on Saturday 24 November in central London. Assemble outside Downing Street at 12 noon for a march to the Israeli Embassy. More details at www.stopwar.org.uk