Photo: Shabbir Lakha Photo: Shabbir Lakha

To build the kind of movement that can confront British imperialism and fight for Palestinian liberation, we need a much bigger revolutionary left

Saturday’s demonstrations for Palestine were historic.

In the face of threats from the Home Secretary, intimidation from the police, and a chorus of smears and lies from across all the main political parties and the media,150,000 people took to the streets in London and tens of thousands more came out in towns and cities around the UK.

Judging by the response in the right wing media, this defiance has shocked and appalled the establishment here. Images of it have been circulating widely in Gaza, the West Bank and across the Middle East.

Given the horrors being unleashed in Gaza and the terrifying prospect of a ground invasion, we will need to redouble our efforts for the demonstration that has been announced for next Saturday in London. 

It is crucial to reach deep into the trade union movement, to try to organise delegations from workplaces, universities, tenants associations, community organisations, churches, campaigning groups and so on, and to be out on the streets petitioning and talking to the general public.

We should also be approaching Labour Party branches, activists and MPs and urging them to defy Keir Starmer’s shameful ban on supporting Palestine. It was a disgrace that on the London protest not a single Labour MP turned up to speak.

As well as proving the importance of mass movements, yesterday’s events showed why we need principled, socialist organisation that doesn’t buckle under pressure. The British state’s growing aggression abroad is linked to its increasing authoritarianism at home. As it ramps up military spending it is doubling down on its attacks on working people. 

Socialists played a vital role in organising and building the demonstrations. Given the challenges ahead, we believe that there needs to be a much bigger revolutionary left, focussed on building the broadest possible movements of opposition and at the same time putting the case for fundamental change. A left that is non-sectarian, but clear and principled in its opposition to imperialism and the racism that it generates. A left that will not be intimidated by threats and bullying from the establishment.

Counterfire is committed to building that organisation. We have branches around the country, one of the best read socialist websites and the left’s only free paper. 

If you agree, we urge you to join us today.

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