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Hundreds of thousands march for Palestine in London

July 7, 2024 at 9:25 am

Protestors participate in the National March for Palestine in London, United Kingdom on July 6, 2024. [Nathan Posner – Anadolu Agency]

The streets of London witnessed a powerful display of solidarity on Saturday as hundreds of thousands gathered to march for Palestine. Organised by the Palestine Coalition, the march called on the government to take immediate action to stop the genocide in Palestine and to cease arming Israel.

The demonstration saw a diverse range of speakers who passionately addressed the crowd, urging for justice and peace. Among them was Jeremy Corbyn, the recently re-elected MP, who emphasised the urgent need for political action and support for Palestinian rights. Renowned activist Mikaela Loach delivered an impassioned speech highlighting the human rights abuses in Palestine and the necessity for international intervention.

British Palestinian Surgeon Dr Ghassan Abu Sitta provided a firsthand account of the dire medical situation in Gaza, calling for an end to the violence and a commitment to humanitarian aid. Activist Leanne Mohammad, known for her advocacy and community work, inspired the crowd with her call for unity and continued activism. Celebrated author Kamila Shamsie also spoke, underscoring the importance of global solidarity and the power of collective action.

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The appointment of David Lammy as Foreign Secretary has brought to light several pressing questions that he must address without delay. Will he take immediate action to halt all UK arms exports to Israel and revoke existing export licenses? Additionally, there is the issue of whether he will fulfil his pledge to promptly restore the UK’s funding to UNRWA. Furthermore, his stance on the UK’s intervention at the International Court of Justice in support of Israel needs to be clarified, along with reaffirming the UK’s commitment to both the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice. These questions underscore the urgent need for clarity and decisive action from the new Foreign Secretary, reflecting the demands of yesterday’s march and the broader call for justice and human rights.

The Palestinian Forum in Britain (PFB) took the opportunity of the march to acknowledge the results of the recent elections from a Palestinian perspective. The PFB commend the Palestinian candidates who participated, especially Leanne Mohammad, as well as Sameh Habeeb, Kamal Hawash and others for their courage and dedication. Their participation is a significant step forward for Palestinian representation and advocacy.

Furthermore, the role of Gaza and its influence on the elections cannot be overlooked. The resilience and steadfastness of the people of Gaza continue to inspire and shape the political discourse, highlighting the ongoing struggle for justice and human rights.

Zaher Birawi, the chairman of the PFB, stated, “Today’s march is a powerful testament to the unwavering support for Palestine within the UK. We call on our government to listen to the voices of its citizens and take concrete steps to end the genocide and halt the arming of Israel. The time for action is now.”

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