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Manchester Palestine protest

Manchester Palestine protest. Photo: Ian Johnston

Protests for Palestine have continued to take place across the country, Ian Johnston and Ellen Graubart report from the protests in Manchester and Worthing

A vocal group of protesters, including many young Palestinians, took part in a demonstration outside the BBC at MediaCityUK in Manchester on Saturday. It was called by Manchester Youth for Palestine and also supported by Manchester Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Manchester Palestine Action, Manchester Jewish Action for Palestine and Manchester Stop the War.

Photo: Ian Johnston

It follows a number of Palestine protests held across the city in the last month, after thousands of Palestinians were forced to flee their homes, in the face of an 11-day military offensive on Gaza by Israeli forces, considered the worst violence in the region since 2014.

At the rally, a speaker from Stop the War said: "It is time to get the media's attention - we won't let them ignore us anymore". The crowd then marched around the Media City campus, before protesting directly outside the BBC's offices, chanting "shame on you BBC" and "Free, free Palestine."

A first for Worthing: big support for the Palestinians

Several hundred citizens of Worthing marched through its streets on Saturday with their first ever rally in support of the Palestinians’ heroic stand against the Israeli massacres and decades of illegal  occupation and seizure of their land. The march was organised (with help from Brighton and Hove PSC) by Sajed Sadozai, a resident of Worthing who has been concerned that a town with a population of 10,000 had not yet spoken up for the Palestinian people: for many years Worthing supporters of the Palestinian cause have been travelling to Brighton to join in  and support Brighton and Hove PSC demonstrations, but this time it was the other way around.

The march began at Worthing Town Hall and was introduced by Sajed, after which followed several very good speeches. Contributors included local Councillor Henna Chowdry (Labour, first female Muslim councillor to be elected to Worthing Council); a representative from NEU; a speaker from BHPSC - and Glyn Secker from Jews for Justice for Palestine and Jewish Voice for Labour. Glyn read the speech that he gave at the very large demonstration in London the previous week.

The march then proceeded noisily and in full sunshine around the town, headed by large Palestinian flags, and flanked by a drum band. It then proceeded along the seafront, ending there with several more speeches. It seemed that no one wanted to go home.

Relative to Brighton, Worthing is quite a sleepy town, but onlookers were very supportive and there was a lot of loud honking from passing traffic. The world is waking up to the horrors being committed by the Israeli state, and there is a strong sense that this time in the cycle of violence against the Occupied Territories of Gaza and the West Bank and East Jerusalem, there has been a sea change, that there is a will to hold Israel, the US and the UK to account for the unspeakable crimes and abuses of human rights that continue to occur on a daily basis.

Photo: Ellen Graubart

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