Friday, July 25, 2014

Liverpool Demonstration Calls for Solidarity with Palestinians

Demonstrators making their way to Marks & Spencer (photo: Palatino Linotype)
A noisy and spirited group of around one hundred and fifty demonstrators gathered in Liverpool city centre last night, to express solidarity with Gazans facing Israel's military onslaught (more photos here). This was the fourth anti-Israel/pro-Palestine demo in the city in two weeks, with another planned for this Saturday.

The protest began at 6pm outside BBC Radio Merseyside's studios. This location was chosen due to the Corporation's blatant pro-Israel stance, which echoes that of British imperialism. A few speakers made speeches over a megaphone, and many chants were taken up, often led by the children in attendance. The presence of so many young people was all the poignant given the huge amount of children slaughtered by the Israel regime, particularly during the current offensive. One woman tried to read out the names and ages of those taken over the last couple of weeks, but could only get so far as she trembled with rage and fought back tears.

This Securitas employee assaulted a child, amongst others
The demonstration then went on the move into the main shopping streets, stopping outside Schuh and TK Maxx, both of which were called out for stocking items manufactured by Caterpillar - a corporation strongly linked to the Israeli occupation. Pro-BDS chants filled the air, before the crowd moved on to Marks and Spencer, another business with deep and historic ties to Zionism.

Here, the protest surged en masse into the store itself, with shouts of 'While you're shopping, bombs are dropping' amongst many others. The security guard ludicrously attempted to hold back the human tide entering the premises, and when he failed to do so, began lashing out wildly at first large men, and then anyone, including one eleven year old child, whose shoulder was injured.

After a few minutes, the crowd flowed out as quickly as it had come in, and after a moment of gathering ourselves, we moved on, going almost full circle back to the Friends' Meeting House, where another pro-Palestine meeting was due to take place. As the noise bounced off the surrounding buildings, some passers-by briefly joined the march with fists raised, clearly delighted to see that such a demo was happening.

With talk of a Third Intifada beginning in Palestine overnight, and no let-up in Israel's genocidal campaign, many protesters are set to return to town tomorrow afternoon.

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