Huge numbers of people have joined protests for Palestine (Picture: Guy Smallman)

Over 350 Palestine supporters joined a convention in London organised by the Stop the War Coalition on Sunday. Its themes were “Stop bombing Gaza” and “Stop bombing Yemen”.

It gathered after last week’s International Court of Justice ruling that Israel should do everything in its power to avoid killing Palestinians—and that there was a strong case to charge it with genocide.

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett from Ireland said the US and British governments’ decision to cut off aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees is in effect intensifying the genocidal assault.

He said, “This is an existential battle for humanity to end this genocidal massacre”. 

Palestinian author and activist Ghada Kharmi noted, “A year ago, we would never have dreamed Israel would be in court for its crimes”. 

NEU union president Daniel Kebede highlighted Israel’s targeting of education facilities across Gaza.  

He said, “We need a ceasefire in Gaza and one in Yemen too.” He called for everyone to “stay on the streets” protesting for Palestine. 

South African filmmaker, author and activist Andrew Feinstein said, “apartheid South Africa’s greatest ally was apartheid Israel. 

“What happened in apartheid South Africa, what happened in the Holocaust must be stopped from continuing in Palestine”.  

He told the rally, “We must continue marching in our tens of millions across the world” pushing for the demands of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. He called for “direct action against every arms company fuelling the genocide”. 

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn MP criticised sections of the media for “cheerleading for more bombing, arms sales and war”.  

While the ICJ ruling didn’t call for an immediate ceasefire, he argued the result is a “huge change of the view and perspective of the facts in the conflict around the world”.  

Those in the room then split into three breakout groups—students, trade unionists and community organisers.  

Each group discussed plans for the day of workplace and student action on Wednesday 7 February. 

Sophia Beach, national student organiser of the Socialist Workers Party, said, “There have been years of censorship on university campuses over support for Palestine. The day of action on 7 February will be a chance for students to hold hard-hitting protests on campuses for Palestine and to insist that there is nothing antisemitic about being anti-Zionist”.

What are you doing for 7 February? Contact reports@socialistworker.co.uk
The Stop The War Coalition, Palestine Youth Movement and London Student Action for Palestine have organised a Zoom meeting on Monday, 29 January, 6pm, to coordinate action on 7 February. Meeting ID 831 8887 7131 Passcode FEB7

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