Half a million people march in London in solidarity with Palestine

Progressive sections in the UK including trade unions, leftist political parties, and anti-imperialist and peace groups, continue their vigorous campaign in solidarity with Palestine, demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories

October 31, 2023 by Peoples Dispatch
Palestine solidarity march UK
Palestine solidarity demonstration in London on October 28. (Photo: via MorningStar)

Half a million people rallied in London in solidarity with Palestine on October 28, demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza which has been under heavy bombardment by Israel since October 7. Marches were also held in the cities of Manchester, Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Belfast, Leeds, Bradford, and Bristol, among others. Anti-imperialist groups in the UK have also protested the Tory government’s complicity in the Israeli war crimes and the sale of British arms to Israel. Trade unions, leftist political parties, and various anti-war and Palestine solidarity groups, including the Palestine Solidarity Campaign UK, have coordinated the marches across the country. 

On October 21, around 300,000 people joined a massive demonstration in London as part of the National March for Palestine. Earlier, on October 14, over 100,000 people turned up for pro-Palestine demonstrations in various cities across the UK to denounce the Israeli war crimes in Gaza.

While addressing the massive rally in London on Saturday at the Parliament Square, MP Jeremy Corbyn said, “The world’s nations voted at the United Nations last night in the General Assembly by an overwhelming majority to demand a ceasefire. It’s not much to ask, a ceasefire when children are being killed by weapons coming through the rooms of their homes. It is an eternal stain that the British government abstained on that vote.”

On October 27, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a major resolution on the Gaza crisis and called for an “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities.” The resolution was supported by 120 members with 14 against with 45 abstentions. The number of total Palestinians killed so far in the Israeli bombings in Gaza crossed 8,300 on Tuesday morning, with over 20,000 Palestinians injured. Israel has held nearly 2.3 million Gazans under siege for nearly 17 years.

Palestine solidarity demo London
Celtic FC fans at the demonstration in solidarity with Palestine in London. (Photo: via Red Glasgow)

In another major display of solidarity with Palestine in the UK, the fan group of the Glasgow Football Club Celtic FC, called the Green Brigade, continues to raise the Palestine flag and shout pro-Palestine chants in the stadium during their club’s matches in the last weeks, defying orders by the club management to abstain from raising political issues. The Green Brigade fans of Celtic FC have a long history of supporting anti-imperialist, anti-racist, and anti-fascist causes. The club has been fined on multiple occasions by the UEFA for the political stances of its fans at stadiums. In 2016, the Green Brigades launched the campaign #matchthefineforPalestine to cover a fine imposed on the club. It donated the proceedings after the fine to the Aida Refugee Camp for Palestinians in Jerusalem. The Celtic FC fans also supported starting the Aida Celtic Football Club in 2019 from the Aida Camp, which plays in the Bethlehem Youth League.