|Volume 53 Number 31, November 18, 2023
The World Marches for Palestine
Three-Quarters of a Million Demonstrate in London for
the Just Cause of Ceasefire Now! End Israeli Genocide!
Unprecedented march for Palestine crossing the Vauxhall bridge (near the MI6 building) in London on November 11
calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and an end to Israeli genocide.
People in hundreds of towns and cities throughout the world have been taking action demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, the lifting of the siege on Gaza and an end to the genocide. Saturday, November 4, and Saturday, November 11, were two major days, but workplace actions, school and student walk-outs, and pickets of law-makers' offices have been widespread. The demonstrations have been growing week by week.
As many as 800,000 demonstrated in London on November 11 calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and an end to Israeli genocide. The London demonstration was a truly massive indication of the sentiment of people from all walks of life, young and old. It was unprecedented apart from the two-million strong demonstration in February 2003, which had demanded "Stop the War" before Tony Blair's government invaded and occupied Iraq. The demonstration had six organisers: Stop the War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Muslim Association of Britain, Palestinian Forum in Britain and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
The massive turnout and the people's conviction that they were marching for a just and urgent cause gave the lie to all the talk of "hate marches", that it was "disrespectful" on Armistice Day, and such like. It was a mass peaceful protest reflecting the diversity and unity of the movement. The organisers wrote: "Our call for a ceasefire is rooted in a sincere wish to see an end to all violence, especially that which targets civilians, while recognising that this cannot be achieved unless the root causes of that violence, the 75 years of ongoing Nakba against the Palestinian people, are adequately addressed."
The national march, including a trade union bloc, assembled at Hyde Park as 12 noon and marched past the US Embassy where a rally was held. Vauxhall Bridge was for many hours just a sea of people crossing to denounce the governments of the US and Britain for their backing of the Israeli genocide and their refusal to even call for a ceasefire. The streets and spaces around the US Embassy were filled with demonstrators with Palestinian flags and placards, and a desire for peace and in support of the right to be of the Palestinians.
November 15 had also been designated a workplace day of action for Palestine, with a call for a ceasefire in Gaza. A blockade of BAE arms plant in Kent took place on November 10. Other actions on November 11 included those in Glasgow and Belfast. In Europe among the cities where masses of people took action were Athens, Berlin, Munich, Navarre, Paris and Genoa. In Genoa, on November 10, over 500 people, port workers, activists and other supporters of Palestinian rights blocked access to the Port of Genoa to oppose the passage of weapons destined for Israel.
Israel has been attempting to legitimise its war crimes by writing up stories alleging that militants are blending in with civilians attempting to escape the hospital and firing rocket-propelled grenade and anti-tank weapons from the hospital entrance. Even if that were the case, which no UN or other agency such as Red Cross or Red Crescent corroborates, Israeli assaults on hospitals would still constitute a war crime. Gaza's largest hospital, al-Shifa, is "not functioning as a hospital anymore," the Director General of the WHO said, as a result of the Israelis cutting off power, water and medicine supplies to the hospital amid bombardment in the area. The Israelis have been spewing out propaganda that the hospital is a base for Hamas, that Hamas has a base in tunnels under the hospital, and other such pretexts for its assault on the hospital, which constitutes a war crime.
Hamas has called on the Secretary-General of the UN to form an international committee to visit Gaza hospitals and verify the Israeli false narrative about their use for resistance activities. Israel claims that Hamas has constructed tunnels beneath the buildings and uses this claim to justify its attacks on hospitals and schools, the latest being the Qatari and Indonesian hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip. "This is just a lie to cover up the Israeli crimes committed against injured people and civilians," Hamas said. It also confirmed that the Israeli allegation about a tunnel entrance under the Indonesian hospital is, in fact, a fuel store for the facility, while the alleged tunnel beneath Hamad Hospital is just a room for pumps and electricity generators. Israel has targeted more than 100 hospitals and medical centres and put about 16 hospitals out of service. The Israeli army spokesman's allegations are self-serving and unconscionable in any case.
The fact is that the Jewish people themselves, in Britain, the US and around the world, stand second to none in condemning the savage Israeli apartheid aggression against the Palestinian people, the murder of men, women and children by indiscriminate bombing day and night, the decades of Israeli occupation, the illegal settlements and settlement violence against the Palestinian people. They speak and organise boldly and loudly in their own name and demand a ceasefire now!