Anger at Sunak and Starmer on London Gaza demo

by David Hofman, West London Socialist Party

The UN Security Council has voted in favour of an immediate ceasefire, but the Israeli state’s attacks on Gaza continue. Thousands attended a protest again in central London on 30 March.

At Socialist Party campaign stalls along the route, discussion about politicians in Britain was dominant. Many marchers have clearly linked the identical support of both major British parties for Israel’s murderous actions in Gaza to understanding that an incoming Starmer government will pursue essentially the same policies as the Tories, in Britain and internationally.

Socialist Party at Gaza Demo
Socialist Party on the Gaza demo.
Photo: Lenny Shail

Evidence of the widespread disgust at Starmer’s stance was that a woman living in a rural Tory constituency told us: “I’ve never voted anything but Labour. But I can’t vote Labour again. But the Tories are no better — they’ve even angered the farmers in my area!”

Our emphasis on the need for a new party that represents the 99% in Britain received widespread agreement. So did our call for a socialist intifada — a democratic mass movement — in Gaza and the West Bank. We made the case for independent working-class political organisation to challenge the ruling capitalist elites internationally, including in Israel.

One person referred to the Rochdale byelection result as ‘what’s possible’. Our proposal to co-ordinate as many independent socialist candidates as possible under the banner of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition was also well received.

Two Communication Workers Union (CWU) members were concerned about the role of the trade unions on these marches. Elaine said: “The union nationally is really quiet — the CWU should have an official presence here — we need to rock the boat!” Her partner, who is very active in the union, said that he would try to contact CWU General Secretary Dave Ward “next week to find out what he is doing about this”.