Palestine protests in Bristol on Saturday of last week

The day of action called by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Stop the War saw at least 65 local demonstrations happen in towns and cities in Britain and across London.

Being on the streets with hundreds of thousands of others, feeling the collective power of our numbers and seeing the breadth of the movement is in itself empowering. 

And it keeps up the pressure on politicians and the trade union leaders. 

Last Saturday there were good-sized marches, with thousands on the streets of Liverpool, Sheffield and Cardiff.

In Dundee, where last week police officers arrested a protester, some 750 people responded this week with fury at the cops in their biggest numbers yet.

Aimee from Bristol said some 4,000 people marched through the city centre there, disrupting traffic and the shopping centre.

“I’ve been to the demos in London, and they were incredible. But to be in Bristol with the streets crammed full of people was too. It was great to cause disruption. People spilled onto the roads and stopped buses.”

In Cambridge around 1,200 came on the streets, the biggest in the city in recent weeks. Despite reluctance from the local Labour Party to get involved, many trade unionists were on the demo.

Protester Tom told Socialist Worker, “Trade unionists from the UCU, NEU and Unite were there—and many had clearly won arguments about Palestine in their unions. 

“A lot of young people on the march really wanted to talk about politics.” 

A massive 2,000 people marched in Exeter, and 1,500 marched in Rotherham, 

while hundreds were on the streets down the road in Chesterfield. 

Several hundred marched in Dorchester, Portsmouth and Plymouth on the south coast, as well as in York and Coventry, and in Lancaster and Halifax in the north west of England. 

Last Sunday also saw huge numbers of people take to the streets.  Some 3,000 rallied in Hove, with 3,000 in Middlesbrough and over 1,000 in Walthamstow in east London.

In Birmingham 3,000 people also marched, following a sit-in at New Street station last Thursday. Here demonstrators shouted, “Rishi Sunak, shame on you”, and also raged at Starmer.

The growing militancy shows we don’t need self-censorship and backward moves, such as the suspension of Manchester Palestine Solidarity Campaign officers for their backing for the Palestinian resistance. 

The next escalation should be workplace action. Palestinian groups and campaigners called for a Global Shutdown for Thursday of this week. 

Those trade union leaders who now back the Palestinians should call for walkouts. The Palestinians can’t wait for the unions to have a consultative ballot first. 

If you’re a student, try to close the campuses and blockade schools. If you’re a worker try to stop on Thursday or Friday, even for a short time.

Fill the streets, stop “business as usual”. Rise up for Palestine.

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