Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Thousands march in London for a ‘Free Palestine’


By Myriam Purtscher - May 13, 2019
TAGS:
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Nakba] [Ahed Tamimi]

Thousands of protesters marched in London to mark Palestine’s 71st 'Nakba’ anniversary on Saturday, May 11.

 

The march was led by teenage Palestinian resistance activist, Ahed Tamimi, to protest the mass displacement of Palestinians during the creation of Israel in 1948 and draw attention to Trump’s long-awaited “deal of the century”.

 

The rally was organised by the Palestinian Forum in Britain, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Muslim Association of Britain and Stop the War Campaign.

 

Protesters shouted slogans like, “Free Palestine”, and “End Siege in Gaza” whilst displaying pro-Palestinians banners and placards, calling for the right of return for displaced Palestinians.

 

The Nakba or “catastrophe” is generally commemorated on May 15, to remember the ethnic cleansing by Zionist forces which led to the forcible expulsion of over 750,000 Palestinians from their historical homeland in 1948.

 

18-year-old Ahed Tamimi became a national symbol after she was jailed for slapping an Israeli soldier and sentenced to eight months in an Israeli prison, where she was released in July 2018.

 

According to Palestine News Network, during Tamimi's speech, she referred to herself as a freedom fighter and thanked those present for their support.

 

“I don’t want to speak about our suffering. We choose to suffer for freedom and justice. Injustice is everywhere,” Tamimi stated.

 

“From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

 

The leader of the UK opposition Labour Party, MP Jeremy Corbyn also voiced his party’s support for Palestinians, backing pro-Palestine rally in London.

 

In a Facebook post, Corbin brought attention to human rights violations by Israel, condemning the ongoing abuses by Israeli forces, “including the shooting of hundreds of unarmed Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza - most of them refugees or families of refugees - demanding their rights.”

 

“We cannot stand by or stay silent at the continuing denial of rights and justice to the Palestinian people,” Corbin stated.

 

Corbin also highlighted the UK governments “silence” to human rights violations against Palestinians has been “deafening”, stating their Labour government will “will recognise a Palestinian state and press for an immediate return to meaningful negotiations.”

 

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip plan to stage a general strike on May 15 to mark Nakba Day, and are planning organised protests.

 

In a statement, Anadolu Agency reported the National Authority for Breaking the Siege - composed of several Gaza-based resistance factions - have warned “the Israeli enemy” against “committing follies against peaceful demonstrators".

 

Nakba demonstrations are also planned for Ramallah, with a march beginning at the Yasser Arafat museum and ending at the centre of the city.

 

Lead image: EPA-EFE/ANDY RAIN

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