Thousands of people protested in Manchester on Saturday against the Israeli state’s latest attacks on Palestinians. Around 1500 people gathered for the event called by Manchester Palestine Solidarity Campaign bringing homemade placards and Palestinian flags to demand justice for the Palestinians and no forced evictions from Sheik Jarrah, East Jerusalem.
Campaigners had set up a group of tents to symbolise the refugee camps that have existed since the Nakba. There were banners and activists from NW PCS, Unison and the Trades Council. Speakers including local Labour MP Afzal Khan talked about decades of injustice the Palestinians have suffered. Many spoke about their personal experiences of dispossession, the pain of being born in refugee camps and never being able to go home. Other speakers talked about the Israeli arms factory in Greater Manchester and demanded that the British government stop selling arms and military equipment to Israel.
Hundreds of young, angry protestors marched through Rusholme, one of the most diverse areas of Manchester chanting “Free, Free Palestine!, From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free! Occupation no more! And Israel is a terror state.” The march grew as people joined along the way, the marchers blocked the road and many decided to march into the centre of Manchester. They joined thousands of other protestors in central Manchester demanding justice and an end to the brutality Palestinians face in Gaza, the occupied territories and in Israel.