Up to 400 attended the Free Palestine organising assembly in Bristol

Palestine campaigners held lively organising assemblies in Liverpool and Bristol on Thursday night ahead of the national march in London on Saturday.

Over 400 people attended in Bristol and 150 were at the Liverpool organising assembly. They were both dynamic events with breakout sessions where activists split into groups of trade unions, students and local areas.

The general mood of the assemblies was that activists aren’t content with just going through the motions of protests. There is an appetite for escalation. And much of the focus was on building the 7 February day of action—in colleges, universities and workplaces.

Charlie, who was part of organising the Bristol assembly, told the Socialist Worker, “Suggestions of escalating action from just walkouts at universities were very popular. There was discussion about how we cause wider disruption. There’s clearly a mood for stepping up the level of resistance.”

Speakers at the Bristol organising assembly included anti-Zionist historian Ilan Pappe, Irish socialist TD Richard Boyd Barrett and Palestinian journalist Ahmed Alnaouq.

The last speaker at the Bristol assembly was Sophia Beach, a national student organiser for the Socialist Workers Party (SWP). She outlined the way imperialism shapes the Middle East, argued for a one state solution and argued a revolution was the way to win Palestinian liberation.

Sophia said Starmer’s support for Israeli genocide isn’t unique in Labour history—it is part of the party’s long history of support for imperialism.  She received a standing ovation.

The Liverpool assembly was backed by the Stop The War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Liverpool Friends of Palestine, NHS Workers Say No and Liverpool Friends of Palestine. This was in addition to a number of unions—including RMT, CWU, Unison, NEU, FBU, and UCU—that supported it.

The assemblies came on the same night that the Met police were forced to back down over their attempt to impose restrictions on Saturday’s march in London.

It’s important to turn out in huge numbers on the demonstration—and deepen the movement with militant actions on 7 February. 

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