Today saw the largest demonstration I have ever seen in Brighton, apart from the demonstration over the Iraq War on the day it started. And I’ve lived here 34 years. I counted 1,350 people. Not including those on the sidewalk or who joined later or indeed left early for different reasons.
Well over one and a half thousand people in Brighton and Hove came to demonstrate against the genocide that is taking place in Gaza. And the people who came weren’t just Palestinians or Arabs or leftists but ordinary people disgusted at the bombing of schools and ambulances and clinics. It was a rare and wonderful day. Even the weather was on our side!
The demonstration itself had been organised in less than 5 days and it is a tribute to how people feel that so many turned out to express their feelings.
Unlike the Lebanon demonstration 3 years ago, when the Police swamped the demonstration and intimidated people on the demonstration, the Police today behaved impeccably and there was no trouble of any kind.
At the start of the demonstration firstly a Palestinian student and PSC member spoke about the reasons for the demonstration and then Tony Greenstein, of (J-Big) Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods spoke. At the end of the demonstration, which wound its way slowly – about 2 hours – down the Western Road, past the main Churchill Square shopping centre to the sea front by the Palace Pier, finishing about 3.30 p.m. There were a number of speakers including veteran ex-Labour Councillor Francis Tonks, who despite being over 80 walked the length of the march. Zoe Mars and Ann Hallam of PSC spoke and at the very end George Galloway MP spoke to those remaining.
One thing is clear. Despite all the propaganda, the Israeli ‘hasbarah’ and the BBC’s repetition of the case for Israel 24 hours a day, people haven’t been taken in. Firecrackers which have killed a score of people in 8 years cannot be compared to modern F16 jets that bomb schools, clinics, ambulances and houses. Using phosphorous to burn people alive in order to provide a ‘smokescreen’ is unacceptable in modern civilised society. Ordinary people can see that Israel is a state run by racist barbarians.
Below are just some of the pictures of the demonstration. Enjoy. Next Wednesday at 1.00 p.m. we are holding a demonstration outside the BBC in Queens Road in protest at its complicity in the murderous attack on the Palestinians of Gaza under the title – ‘BBC – Israel’s Media Partner in War Crimes’