Israel-Gaza conflict: 150,000 protest in London for end to 'massacre and arms trade'

Organisers say 150,000 turned up to demonstrate in an event which also called for sanctions against Israel and a lifting of the blockade on Gaza

Thousands of people opposed to Israel’s bombardment of Gaza have taken to the streets in London in a mass demonstration to try and intensify pressure on the British government.

Arranged by a compendium of anti-war campaigners and religious organisations, the march, from the BBC’s headquarters near Oxford Circus to Hyde Park, was claimed by organisers to have had as many as 150,000 in attendance.

The Met Police told The Independent that it was entirely peaceful and no arrests were made. The force would not confirm how many people it estimated had taken part.

Protesters’ travelled past the US Embassy en route to the central London park, waving “Free Palestine” placards and flags, while chanting that the Israeli offensive is a “massacre.”

 

Vocal opponents of Israel’s airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, including Lib Dem MP David Ward and Labour politician Jeremy Corbyn, also took part in the protests.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign, one of the core organisers of the event, said in a statement yesterday that it wants the march to bring a stop to UK military and industrial collaboration with Israel.

“[The demonstration] will increase the pressure on the British Government to introduce an immediate arms embargo on the State of Israel,” it said.

A samba band entertained protesters while a number of flags made by football fans were held above the crowd.

A Jewish father told a Press Association reporter that while many of his Jewish friends were equally as outraged by the apocalyptic images emanating from the region, they were too "uncomfortable" to join the march.

Dan Rosenberg, 43, said: “It is horrific what is going on in Gaza. It is collective punishment. I don't know how any human being can stand back while this is happening.

“But it is difficult being here. We have seen the anti-Semitic attitudes [elsewhere] and you feel very threatened and scared, but we feel we have to stand up and represent.

“I have Jewish friends who wanted to come but they felt uncomfortable being here.”

A teenager described how if she was in the same situation as Palestinians, she would want the international community to stick up for her.

“People shouldn't stand by and watch an injustice. I have little brothers and sisters and if I was in that situation I would want people globally to fight for me,” Yasmin Rackal, 17, said.

Meanwhile, a similar protest in Cape Town, South Africa, today was said to be one of the biggest in its history.

Between 30-50,000 people demanded "decisive action from the South African government against the Israeli attacks, killings, displacement and destruction of the Gaza Strip," reports iAfrica.com.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special
tvNick Frost, Natalie Gumede and Michael Troughton step up
Arts and Entertainment
Matthew Beard, Ben Schnetzer, Douglas Booth and Jack Farthing in ‘The Riot Club’
filmReview: Sheer nastiness of Riot Club takes you aback
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

English Teacher

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: We have an urgent requirement fo...

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£55 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: We are looking to recruit two ...

Primary supply teachers required in Ipswich

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary teachers requ...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week