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People around the world mobilise for Palestine

July 20, 2014 at 3:04 pm

As Israel’s latest onslaught against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip continues to escalate, hundreds of thousands of people around the world, perhaps even millions, are taking to the streets in support of Palestine. Some are protesting for the very first time, while others are gathering in defiance of the authorities; however, all are united in the demand to end not only Israel’s brutal assault on the Gaza Strip, but also its occupation of Palestine.

Israel has been waging a massive military campaign against Palestinians living in Gaza for almost two weeks now, so far killing more than 400 people, mostly civilians, and injuring thousands. Israeli occupation forces have also destroyed thousands of residential homes, as well as schools, hospitals, mosques, media offices and government buildings.

Nevertheless, the leaders of the world’s major powers continue to support Israel’s on-going aggression, while the international community has failed to take any action to stop Israel’s collective punishment of Palestinians. Pained by the intense suffering in Gaza, concerned people around the world have been holding popular rallies to call upon their governments to demand an end to Israel’s continued war crimes against the Palestinian people.

In the UK, tens of thousands of people gathered on Saturday outside the government’s headquarters in central London, marching through the streets to the Israeli embassy. For some, this was the first time they had ever protested. Speaking to MEMO, one young lady explained that she only started learning about Israel’s crimes against Gaza quite recently through a friend and social media. Although she had never protested in the past, she now felt compelled to take to the streets to demand justice for Palestine.

Thousands also protested in Paris, France on Saturday, despite the French authorities’ decision to ban all demonstrations in support of Palestine after a small minority of extremists on both sides clashed in the streets last week. However, French citizens determined to exercise one of their most fundamental political rights mobilised in the streets regardless, only to be confronted by the police. Clashes ensued and Aljazeera America reported that “at least 35 of the roughly 5,000 protesters” were arrested.

There have been many other mass protests in major cities across Europe in recent days, with many thousands of people mobilising in: Belfast, Northern Ireland; Glasgow, Scotland; Dublin, Ireland; Stockholm, Sweden; Oslo, Norway; Barcelona, Spain; Brussels, Belgium; Munich, Germany; Milan, Italy; and Bucharest, Romania, to name just a few.

People in cities across Asia have also been mobilising to demand an end to Israel’s on-going aggression in Palestine. Indians have staged large demonstrations in cities across the country, including Bangalore, Kolkata and New Delhi. Mass solidarity protests have also been organised in the major cities of Kashmir, Pakistan, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Tens of thousands recently gathered in Cape Town, South Africa, in what was reportedly one of the city’s largest demonstrations in recent years. Many thousands also mobilised in cities across the Middle East and North Africa, including Istanbul, Tangier, Tunis, Beirut and Amman, as well as in cities throughout Egypt and historic Palestine.

Meanwhile, popular protests have been organised across Latin America, with thousands of people mobilising in Santiago, Chile; São Paulo, Brazil; and Bogotá, Columbia.

In Australia, there have been numerous protests across the country, with large mobilisations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

Canadians staged large rallies in the cities of Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver. For their part, Americans staged demonstrations in major cities including New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Austin, Denver and Detroit, demanding an end to the US government’s military aid to Israel and calling for freedom and justice for all Palestinians.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.