M Ghazali Khan
More than 100,000 protestors have marched through London against Israeli barbarism in Gaza.
Despite British Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s letter to chief constables in England and Wales suggesting criminalising the waving of a Palestinian flag, there was a sea of Palestinian flags at the rally. Notwithstanding her advice to police chiefs to consider treating the chant of, ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’, as an offence, protesters raised this slogan.
Earlier in a joint letter addressed to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, 10 organisations, representing Muslim and ethnic communities, had threatened legal action if the government went ahead with its threats to prosecute people waving Palestinian flags.
The march from outside BBC’s Headquarters and ending outside Downing Street stretched more than a mile. Showing their anger against BBC’s biased reporting on Gaza, protesters also raised anti-BBC slogans.
Waving Palestinian flags and a variety of placards supporting Palestine and deploring Israel’s carpet bombing, protesters chanted slogans, ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’; ‘One, two three four, occupation no more’; ‘five, six seven eight, Israel is a terrorist state’; ‘Netanyahu, what do you say? How many kids have you killed today?’
Protesters also raised slogans against Prime Minister Sunak expressing their anger against him and chanting, ‘Rishi Sunak, shame on you’. They hailed the former Labour leader Jermy Corbyn, perhaps the only courageous and highly principled politician in the British Parliament who has been deploring Israeli atrocities in Gaza. At the London March, he urged the participants to ‘carry on demonstrating as long as it takes to bring about peace and recognition of the rights of Palestinian people, and an end to arms sales.’
Mr Corbyn condemned the killings of both sides and said: ‘Those killings are wrong, murder is wrong, the loss of human life is wrong. What we’re searching for is a process for peace, for justice, for honour, for the people of Palestine.’
He went on: ‘It is right to condemn the killings that have happened, it is right to condemn the targeting of civilians, which is, of course, a war crime within international law, but it’s also right to condemn the continuing occupation of Palestine by the Israeli military forces.
‘To demand that the entire population of Gaza move, and a million people leave their homes within 24 hours, is dangerous, it is going to kill people, and they are dying in their thousands. To deny innocent civilian people water, electricity is also a war crime.’ Mr Corbyn said.