By Adrian Chan-Wyles
THOUSANDS upon thousands of people gathered outside Downing Street last Saturday and marched to the Israeli Embassy via Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, in temperatures of around 30 degrees to protest at the latest Israeli onslaught and invasion of Gaza.
British Muslims from various ethnic groups and cultures joined Palestinians, people from other countries, and many other British people, young and old, male and female, able-bodied, and disabled. Despite a strong police presence, there was no reported trouble.
Along the route, occasionally devout Muslims would move to the side of the pavement, or step into a local park and unroll their mat for prayer, while the elderly and those with disabilities still made their way along the route, even though they had fallen behind the official police-line marking the rear of the march, and were even behind the army of well organised road-sweepers whose job it was to clean-up the streets in its wake.
Placards and posters called for Gaza to be free, and for Israel to change its policy and stop behaving in a fascist, and highly destructive manner.
Despite the continuous pro-Israeli British media, and total lack of impartiality from the BBC, it is obvious that their propaganda is not working.
Multitudes of intelligent and right-minded people marched through London, demonstrating that no matter who has control of the state media, reality will still seep through into the human mind and protests against lying and oppression will emerge from the masses.
Perhaps one of the most poignant events today, occurred outside Hyde Park, where a small group of Jewish people representing the “Boycott Israeli Goods” (BIG) campaign, unfurled a banner which said: “It’s Kosher to boycott Israeli Goods” and “Say No To Injustice”.
Many pro-Palestinian protestors thanked them for their presence and support, proving that a protest against Israel is not necessarily a campaign against Jewish people, nor motivated by any notions of anti-Semitism. This protest in London should send shock waves through Tel Aviv, along with similar demonstrations that have been happening in major towns and cities throughout the world.
An Israeli spokesperson (speaking to the BBC World Service), recently justified his country’s latest military incursion into Gaza, as being a product of Israel’s right to legitimate “self-defence”.
In the exercising of this right the Israeli military machine – led by tanks – entered Gaza following a sustained aerial bombardment that left 200 Palestinians dead, and around 1200 severely wounded.
This indiscriminate use of force has killed men, women, and children of all ages, including those with disabilities who lacked the physical ability to attempt to run away from the Israeli bombs and heavily armed assault troops.
Although Hamas has fired rockets into Israel as a protest against Israeli aggression, it is a reported fact that only one Israeli has died, and he was an Israeli soldier killed in the line of duty. No Israeli citizens have died from the Hamas use of rockets in the recent exchanges.
The appalling situation facing the oppressed Palestinians has gripped the imagination of progressive people around the world and has inspired one demonstration after another, with each expressing an uncompromising solidarity with the people of Gaza.
There will be another protest outside the Israeli embassy in Kensington on Saturday 26th July.