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Anti-Occupation Demonstration, London

by Heathlander, 10 June 2007

Protest against 40 years Occupation, London, photo by Heathlander

Yesterday, there was a large demonstration organized by the Enough! coalition of NGOs and anti-war groups (e.g. Jews for Justice for Palestinians, War on Want, Stop the War Coalition, etc. etc.) in London against Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians. We began at Lincoln’s Field Inns and marched to Trafalgar Square to hear numerous speakers articulate their opposition to the occupation (some supported a two-state settlement, others were anti-Zionist and favoured a single, democratic state for all its citizens). The atmosphere was good, if at times a bit flaccid, and several thousand people turned up (perhaps as many as 10,000).

George Galloway speaking at the demonstration

A counter-demonstration was held alongside ours. It was much smaller in size – evidently, it is harder to rally people in support of oppression than in opposition to it. Some more:

Mustafa Barghouti speaks at anti-occupation demo, Photo by Heathlander

Mustafa Barghouti, the Palestinian Minister of Information. He gave a most impressive speech and won loud applause. Apparently, the organisers had invited another two members of the Palestinian government to speak at the demonstration – both were abducted by Israel and are currently rotting in Israeli jails, along with more than a third of the elected members of the 132-seat Palestinian Legislative Council.

Along with Mustafa Barghouti, the most impressive speaker was Natan’l Silverman, an Israeli representative of ‘Combatants for Peace‘, a non-violent peace group composed of former Israeli combat soldiers and Palestinians who had previously been involved in acts of violence.

Other speakers included Professor Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian General Delegate to the UK, Caroline Lucas, Green Party MEP, and George Galloway.

Demonstrating against 40 years of Occupation, Photo by Heathlander