Demonstration outside Downing Street, 15 May. Photo: Shabbir Lakha Demonstration outside Downing Street, 15 May. Photo: Shabbir Lakha

Thousands of people poured into Whitehall on Tuesday to oppose the killing of unarmed protesters in Gaza, reports Richard Pratt

On Tuesday evening, in response to the continued murder of unarmed Palestinian demonstrators by Israeli snipers, thousands of protesters descended on Downing Street. It coincided also with the 70 year anniversary of the Nakba (“catastrophe”). 

Organised in under 24 hours, this emergency protest was called by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Palestinian Forum in Britain, Stop the War Coalition, Olive, and Europal Forum, with the support of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and the Muslim Association of Britain, and featured numerous speakers, including Lindsey German, Tariq Ali, Chris Williamson, Caroline Lucas, Owen Jones and a number of Sinn Fein MPs. 

Despite an unreasonably severe police presence, the atmosphere remained positive throughout, with nothing distracting from the crystal clear collective commitment. 

And even at the height of Tuesday rush hour, commuting cyclists were dismounting to join in solidarity. People of all ages and backgrounds continued streaming into the demonstration right till the end.

As Lindsey German reminded us, the unarmed civilians being massacred by Israeli forces from across the border are demonstrating for their right to return to their homeland, which is their right as refugees under international law.

Israel does not care for international law. For 70 years, it has continuously violated international treaties and United Nations resolutions and carried out horrific attacks on Palestinian civilians with impunity.

The resounding message, stressed by the thousands who mobilised outside the Prime Minister’s residence, is that Israel and its supporters must fully be held to account and that our government’s uncritical support for the Netanyahu regime will not go without opposition.

This gives us all the more reason to greet Donald Trump with full force on 13th July and ensure that solidarity with Palestine is a central feature of our opposition to him.