|Volume 53 Number 31, November 18, 2023
More than 100 rallies are to take place across Britain on November 18. Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend vigils, protests, petitions, fundraisers and marches across London boroughs and cities including Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Dundee, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford and elsewhere.
Ben Jamal, the director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), said: "This Saturday, ordinary people across the UK will come out again to show the vast majority of them support a ceasefire. They will show their solidarity with Palestinians who are suffering unimaginable harm. They will also demand the root causes are not forgotten: Israel's decades-long military occupation of Palestinian territories and its system of apartheid against Palestinians."
Stop the War Coalition said that the local rallies would be followed on Saturday, November 18, by a national demonstration. A Stop the War spokesperson stated: "Groups around the country are organising local rallies and marches to basically build for the national demonstration that has been called for next Saturday. I think most of them have speakers from various organisations that are involved in the main marches, and then trade unionists. Some of them have trade unionists as speakers, and some of them are marching, like the one in Highbury."
The national march, organised by PSC alongside Stop the War, the Muslim Association of Britain, Friends of Al-Aqsa and others, will resume in London on November 25. The sentiment is that demonstrations must continue until there is a ceasefire.
Some previous local actions
Around 250 health care workers from across London gathered at the Department of Health and Social Care on November 9 to mourn the death of 169 health workers as well as child deaths. On November 10, Gaza Medic Voices gathered at Downing Street remembering some of those who have been killed.
On November 11, about thirty people gathered in St Thomas Square, Newport, on the Isle of Wight, to support the call for a ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Palestine. This protest was organised by Island Solidarity. It was the fourth anti-war protest to take place in Newport since the first one, held on October 14. Campaigners will be back at the war memorial in St Thomas Square on Saturday, November 18, continuing to call for a ceasefire and to raise wider awareness of the plight of Palestine, where 11,000 lives have already been lost in the first month of this war. The local protests are part of a wider movement, which has seen protests in over 120 UK cities and towns, including the weekly national protest in Central London.
Newcastle Stop the War Coalition hosted a meeting in Newcastle Stop the War on Gaza on Thursday November 16. Invited speakers were Mick Bowman, Newcastle PSC activist speaking from the West Bank in Palestine by web link, Ellie Arman Azoulay, a cultural historian at Newcastle university, Eman Al-Assah, Palestinian PhD Researcher in post colonial studies, and Alex Snowdon, PSC Executive member. Pam Wortley read a message from Lindsey German, Convenor of Stop the War. The meeting was Chaired by Roger Nettleship, Chair of Newcastle StW. Some 70 people took part in the meeting which condemned Israel's barbarous crimes in Gaza as well as in the West Bank. The meeting condemned the political, military and economic support given to Israel by the US and Britain to the massacres of the population of Gaza. Britain alongside the US is complicit in war crimes being committed against the Palestinian people using the unjustifiable claim that Israel has a right to "defending itself" and claiming that the Palestinians have no right to resist the continued attacks on their existence and right to be in their ownterritory over many decades. The speakers represented both the Palestinian people and Jewish people at the meeting and together everyone demanded an immediate ceasefire to stop the Israeli massacres of civilians, destruction of their homes, hospitals and towns making 1.5 million people homeless. The call from the meeting was to continue to build the mass movement for an immediate ceasefire and to also demand that the US and British warmongers be brought to account alongside the Israeli state for their crimes against humanity.
Ceasefire Now! Keep Up the Pressure Today! Stop the War, November 18
As the horror in Gaza escalates so too does our activity to bring it to an end. In the past week there has been two massive demonstrations, one last Saturday and one outside Parliament on Wednesday, desperately calling on our politicians to listen to the overwhelming majority of their constituents and call for ceasefire in Israeli violence against Palestinians in Gaza and also in the West Bank.
Alongside these demonstrations there has been a wave of school strikes beginning to sweep the country and Stop the War held its first Workplace Day of Action on Wednesday with workers in various sectors raising their voices for justice for Palestine.
Despite our politicians continuing refusal to listen, voting as they did to let the slaughter continue, the movement here is having a huge impact. Suella Braverman, was removed from her post as Home Secretary on Monday after her spectacular failure to stop of us from marching last weekend and Keir Starmer faced the largest Labour revolt since the Iraq War. It's clear the political class is in crisis over Palestine, and we cannot relent in our determination to force them to call for an end to the violence.
This weekend we're going back into our local communities with protests taking place right across the UK. Two weeks ago on our last local day of action we had massive turnouts and we expect the same again.