- Hundreds of thousands expected to join fourth National March for Palestine
- They demand an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, a lifting of Israel’s illegal siege to allow in desperately needed supplies of humanitarian aid, and an end to UK Government complicity in war crimes
- Speakers at rally to include MPs, trade union leaders and a wide range of civil society organisations
- PSC reasserts its concerns at deeply irresponsible remarks by Suella Braverman and other political leaders seeking to demonise those marching for peace and to stir public unrest
For the fifth consecutive Saturday since Israel launched its deadly war on Gaza, hundreds of thousands of people will protest in support of besieged Palestinians and for an immediate ceasefire. Following a Day of Action in cities and towns across the UK last week, this Saturday sees the fourth National March for Palestine, when more than 500 000 people are expected to converge in London, making it one of the largest political marches in British history.
The Palestinian death toll in Israel’s merciless assault stands at 10 818 killed, including 4412 children. Thousands more are missing presumed dead under the rubble of buildings that have been destroyed. 1.5 million people have been forcibly displaced. Israel has cut off electricity, food, water and fuel from a population of 2 million people, half of whom are children. Oxfam have stated that starvation is being used as a weapon of war. Vital services, including health and sanitation are being pushed towards collapse. There is a huge humanitarian crisis unfolding in front of the world’s eyes.
PSC reasserts its concerns at the disgraceful remarks by Home Secretary Suella Braverman. She has sought to delegitimise the call for a ceasefire, which is supported by the vast majority of the British public, smear those marching for peace and stir up public unrest. The decision to avoid the centre of London and Whitehall on this weekend was made by the organisers many weeks ago and agreed with the Police. Suella Braverman was fully aware of this fact, as was Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, when they issued statements suggesting that the march was intended to disrupt preparations for Remembrance Sunday. As a result, they have caused, we believe intentionally, public concern and greenlit far right activists who have declared their intention to come to London “to protect the Cenotaph”. This has created additional unnecessary challenges to the Police and the march organisers to ensure public safety in safely stewarding many hundreds of thousands of people throughout the march.
The uncertainty earlier this week as to whether the march might be banned also created delays in the normal process of communication with the Police to plan out the details of the march, including getting agreement to our request to have more than one stage area at the end, so that crowds can be dispersed and managed more easily.
We reject the attempts by political leaders, opposed to the call for a ceasefire, to defame those marching as hateful, antisemitic and intent on causing disorder. On Saturday we will be marching for peace, for an immediate ceasefire to end the mass killing of civilians in Gaza, and for action to address the root causes of the current violence, which are Israel’s ongoing military occupation, and imposition of a system of apartheid upon all Palestinians.
Ben Jamal, PSC Director, said:
“Contrary to the disgraceful rhetoric of Suella Braverman and other political leaders, hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life, will come to London to march for peace, for a ceasefire, and for the rights of the Palestinian people to be respected. They reject a narrative that seeks to dehumanise Palestinians and their legitimate struggle for freedom. They are appalled by the mass killing of Palestinians including 4500 children, and they want an end to British complicity in supporting Israel’s decades long violations of international law. They reject all forms of racism and believe that a consistent antiracism means opposing in word and deed the imposition upon the Palestinian people of a system of apartheid. They march as well to affirm the right to protest now under its most severe attack by a Home Secretary who has shown herself to be wholly unfit for office.”