Protesting while parliament descended into chaos

by Rose Kwiecinska, East London Socialist Party

Thousands of people gathered outside parliament once again on 21 February, demanding the end to the Israeli state’s brutal offensive on Gaza. Inside, Members of Parliament were debating a motion from the Scottish National Party calling for a ceasefire.

Socialist Party members were, as always, with others outside; selling the Socialist newspaper and talking to people. It was easy to approach protesters for discussion because of the huge queue outside Parliament!

Socialist Party outside parliament during Gaza ceasefire vote.
Socialist Party outside Parliament during the Gaza
ceasefire vote. Photo: Martin Reynolds

We were focusing mainly on the topic of this year’s general election. Neither the Tories nor the Labour Party are standing up for the Palestinians. People know this and explained how that they don’t really see any option of who to vote for. That’s why we need an alternative. Socialist Party members are preparing to stand as part of TUSC (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition), calling for an end to Israeli state terror and to fight for working-class people’s interests.

Asking people questions is important. Sometimes they don’t even know that the opinion they are making is basically what the Socialist Party and TUSC are saying! And it concerns everything – Gaza, the lack of working-class representation in government, the frustration about cuts and austerity.

I had a long conversation with one protester, I spent most of it thinking: “I agree completely. I should be saying this to you, because that’s why I’m here!”

The Socialist Party is fighting for:

  • End the siege – for the permanent withdrawal of the Israeli military from the occupied territories
  • For a mass struggle of the Palestinians, under their own democratic control, to fight for liberation
  • For the building of independent workers’ parties in Palestine and Israel and links between them
  • For an independent, socialist Palestinian state, alongside a socialist Israel, with guaranteed rights for all minorities, as part of the struggle for a socialist Middle East
  • No trust in the capitalist politicians, internationally or in Britain. Fight to build a workers’ party in Britain that fights for socialism and internationalism

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