The Palestine protest outside parliament (Picture: PSC)

Up to 400 people rallied outside Parliament in London on Wednesday evening to rage against the Tories’ support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

Protester Rachel told Socialist Worker, “I’m here because I have humanity. Children are dying because of the racism and hypocrisy of the West. It’s wrong. 

“People say protesting doesn’t work, but it does. The more of us that come together the more impact we can have.”

Rachel says she has “no more words” to describe Israel’s assault in Gaza, or of the West’s support. “It continues to shock me, but I’m also no longer surprised,” she said. 

“Rishi Sunak goes on about upholding British values, but looks at what values he has. Homelessness is at an all time high in Britain yet we can send money to Israel to kill children. have to continue to raise awareness, boycott and speak out.”

Protesters Olivia told Socialist Worker, “I’m angry. There’s no democracy when the majority are being ignored. The constant hypocrisy infuriates me. Israel isn’t defending itself, but countries that are like Iran are criticised.

“We not only set up Israel, we are actively encouraging it to kill by sending arms and defending it. Some of my friends think when Keir Starmer comes to power he’ll act. But now is the time to act. 

“The national demonstrations have been fantastic, the solidarity is incredible. We have to keep going.”

Protesters also raged at the arms companies profiting from death. They chanted, “No sanctions, no vote,” and, “UK government, Keir Starmer, Joe Biden you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide.”

Sahlem from the Muslim Association of Britain told the crowd, “We’re here to send a clear message. There’s no funding for the NHS or to end child poverty  But there is £600 million to send to the genocidal state. Israel is not defending itself, it’s hellbent on genocide. 

“Two-faced politicians cried for Ukraine, but they can’t shed a tear for Gaza. We say enough is enough. We do not partake in this ethnic cleansing.

“And we say to those supporting the apartheid state that they will be held to account.”

Zahra Ibrahim from the Muslim Forum of Britain said that his grandmother died of hunger in north Gaza three days ago. And last month Israel killed 16 members of his family.

“Being on the streets gives people in Palestine proof that they’re not alone in this. We don’t hear about the over 19,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, many held without trial. He slammed the “hypocrisy” on the day to remember Palestinian prisoners.

“What country upholding international law kills over 17,000 children? We have to show up everyday until this ends,” he said. 

“We don’t just want a ceasefire. We want those responsible held to account and brought to trial for the massacre they’re committing.”

Emily from the Campaign Against Arms said that Israel “is breaking international law”. “Yet the UK continues to send arms when it should be suspending sales,” she said. “Arms companies are generating record profits from genocide. But ordinary people are taking action.

“It’s down to us. We’re close to an embargo but it’s not enough. We have power – and we have to use it.

“We have to keep up the pressure on the government and the arms companies – we cannot allow them to commit these crimes.”

Shabir Lakha from Stop The War said that protesters have to be out in “bigger numbers than ever” at the next national demonstration on 27 April. And he said the workplace day of action on 1 May has to “have as much impact as possible”.

“Britain scrambles to defend Israel. So we have to continue to bring this country to a standstill,” he said. “They’re scared of us. It’s why the racist Met police tries to shut our demonstrations down.”

After the rally finished, protesters stood off against pro-Israel supporters chanting for a free-Palestine and, “The whole damn system, shut it down.”

The next national demonstration has to be bigger than ever to hold Britain, the US and Israel to account for their brutality.

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