On Saturday as in many other cities across the UK and internationally there was a Liverpool rally to protest the current bombing campaign in the Gaza strip, the latest in decades of hostilities and oppression of the Palestinian people, forced evictions from their own homes by illegal settlers, and a never ending death toll, as well as devastation of families, community and the physical and mental damage to survivors to the unending attacks.
I attended with comrades to show solidarity with the Palestinian people, and had been contacted by organisers when it was arranged to assist getting the word out.
The protest was organised by Merseyside Stop The War and supported by Liverpool Friends Of Palestine, Liverpool Trades Council, Merseyside BLM alliance and Merseyside Pensioners Association.
On the day there was an estimated 1,000+ people there, from all generations, and diverse communities. Liverpool was awash with Palestinian flags as people marched from St Luke’s Bombed Out Church to Derby Square, with some already marching to the church from Bold street. Chants of “Free Palestine”, and from the “river to the sea Palestine will be free” were loudly pleaded from the marchers.
Speakers at the event represented people from the organisations that arranged the rally including Audrey White newly elected Cllr and established author Alan Gibbons who also read out a poem, members of the community including from Palestine, MP for West Derby Ian Byrne a member of the Socialist Campaign Group. My MP Kim Johnson also of the SCG was unable to attend and I was asked by the organisers to read out her statement of solidarity. I also sent Solidarity from PCS, PCS North West and the National Black Members Committee after reading her statement.
Some of the speeches referring to real life harrowing experiences of speakers, their families, friends and communities were emotional, passionate and captured the horror of the ongoing oppression in Palestine. References were also made to the current situation in Sheikh Jarreh, and the bombing of press headquarters that very day.
This was #Nakba73 – a day of action, held on the 15th of May annually since 1948 when the permanent displacement of the majority of Palestinian people commenced. 73 years, a whole life time for those able to survive that long, and a horrific situation for several generations to be born into, never knowing peace. This is a situation that should not be tolerated, and it is vital that we work to pressure for resolution for the Palestinians every day.
As Nelson Mandela said” We know to well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”
PCS have a proud tradition of being Internationalist & have an International Committee
“The influences on the working lives of PCS members now extend far beyond the borders of the UK and Ireland. Economic crises don’t respect national boundaries, as we are all engaged in the struggle to protect our public services. PCS has built up good relationships with sister trade unions around the globe and through European and global trade union federations to promote and protect our members’ interests and concerns. In many countries trade unionists risk intimidation or jail for active membership of a union. Solidarity is the very basis of trade unionism, and it shouldn’t stop at national borders.
PCS is proud to campaign for human rights and against inequality and injustice.”
PCS issued a statement Cease Israeli government violence against civilians in Palestine on 14/05/2021