Protests condemning bombing and siege of Gaza grow

London — biggest yet

by Emily Lyndon

Collective grief and anger brought one of the biggest Palestine solidarity marches in UK history. Fears that the demonstration would see fewer numbers than that of the previous Saturday were quelled by more attendees than a week prior.

Socialist Party stall swamped during Gaza protest
Socialist Party Stall swamped at Birmingham demo against
war on Gaza. Photo: Brum SP

As demonstraters arrived, they assembled at Socialist Party campaign stalls to sign our petition, buy record numbers of Socialist papers and donate record amounts to our fighting fund. Socialist Party placards and posters reading ‘End Israeli State Terror’ and ‘Stop the War on Gaza! For a Socialist Intifada’ could be seen amidst a wave of Palestinian flags.

Our flyers offering an alternative were taken with enthusiasm. Socialist Party members were constantly speaking to protesters about a socialist programme for a free Palestine, which got an overwhelmingly positive response.

Whilst the capitalist devastation prevails and dominates the news, people are organising in their masses around the world to call for an end to war and occupation. The demonstrations continue.

Newham — Labour splits

by Niall Mulholland

Several hundred people attended a protest initiated by Mehmood Merza, an independent councillor. Mehmood is part of Newham Socialist Labour, a group of mainly former Labour members.

The East Ham Labour Party secretary spoke and angrily ripped up his Labour Party membership card in protest at Keir Starmer’s support for the Israeli state’s collective punishment of Gaza.

Mehmood also asked East London Socialist Party member Lois Austin to address the crowd. Lois welcomed Mehmood’s initiative, and compared it to the rest of the council, and other “weak cowards inside the Labour Party, who would rather hold on to their Labour Party cards than stand up for the rights of Palestinians, who’ve been slaughtered by the Israeli state in their thousands, backed up by Western powers”.

Lois pointed out that there are young Israelis protesting against Israeli government policy, “calling for an end to the attacks and for a ceasefire”. To applause from the largely Muslim and Asian crowd, Lois said: “We should support these brave young people in Israel who want peace and justice”.

Newham Labour mayor, Rokhsana Fiaz, spoke about Gaza to an outside gathering of mainly local Labour councillors. An event that was not widely publicised, and did not feature any slogans.

A local Labour councillor has resigned over Keir Starmer’s position on what’s happening. Local socialists and activists against the war are discussing the best alternative candidate to put forward in the by-election.

The Socialist Party will aim to reach agreement with other activists on a manifesto that stands against the Israeli war on Gaza, and for Palestinian rights, alongside the need for a fighting anti-cuts programme in the town hall.