Free Palestine rally 19th July 2014
Date published: 19th July 2014
As I reached the top of the stairs to the street, I was met by a sea of placards and flags, all in wait of one another to start making their way down, or already had started to make their way down to congregate outside Downing Street, to begin the protest. I was beginning to get excited, I couldn't believe the turn out had been so many, and as I started to make my way down and got closer to Downing Street, I was dumbfounded to find even more were already there, thousands. I couldn't stop smiling to myself to see so many like minded people united together for such a noble cause as this.
"Free Palestine" I could hear them chanting as I came closer and once I reached my fellow brothers and sisters, it became difficult to move further forward to gain a good position so I could take photos and videos of it all. I started to shimmy my way through the crowd and out to the other side of where everyone was standing in front of a temporary stand that had been erected for the PA system they were using to help initiate the chanting and to talk to everyone there. Finally I was through and was just about to begin setting up to take my photos and begin taking notes to document the event, when suddenly I was met by something I truly did not expect. There were more people, more and more, hundreds, this river of people that were already in motion, moving further onward and upward down the street. There were already people marching, and when I looked to see if could see the start of it, I couldn't. It soon became apparent that I had clearly under estimated the amount of like minded people that might attend.
We were marching to the Israeli embassy to show them that we would not allow this injustice to carry on any longer, to show them that we know what is going on, even if terrestrial TV channels wouldn't broadcast, or mainstream news papers wouldn't show what was happening in Gaza and the west bank. We had come in force to show everyone that the people of Palestine were not alone and there voices would not go unheard.
Leaving behind the chants of "shame on you" being yelled in unison by the mass of people at the PA stand directed at David Cameron in number ten, I began to work my way up the the street towards Trafalgar square and down Pal Mal, following and hastening to see if I could workout how many people had actually shown up and capture this spectacular display of unity.
I managed to catch up to the front, where the the "Palestine Solidarity Campaign" (the PSC) had set up marshals to keep the rally in order and chanting into bull horns to keep everyone in unison and ensure we were heard and not just seen. It was truly magnificent.
Multiple different chant one after another, all being repeated and continued by the demonstrators and the marshals, all with the same message, free Palestine, free the Palestinian people, stop the killing.
As we passed by the American embassy, the chants of "shame on you" struck back up to highlight our knowledge of their governments financial backing and turning of a blind eye to the atrocities committed by Israel.
Finally we reached our destination, the Israeli embassy, more stands had been erected with another PA system and a stage for guest speakers such as MP Diane Abbott, MP George Galloway among many others, all with the same message. Israel must stop the killing of innocents, to return the rights of the Palestinian people and treat them as free citizens, to stop our government and others from backing the rogue state of Israel with funding and arms so to stop them committing these atrocities and to boycott them so to show them we will not tolerate it any longer. It was at this point one of the speakers announced that there were over 100,000 of us that had come out to demonstrate our disapprobation for the crimes of Israel that were going unpunished. I couldn't believe it, 100,000! It was an obscure feeling that swept over me, one of great joy that so many people came out to stand against injustice and sadness that so many had to come when this is something that shouldn't have to take place if we did truly live in a just and democratic world like we are lead to believe.
Not only was this march taking place in London, but all across the world, NYC USA, Sydney Australia even Tel Aviv Israel (but for France, who band any demonstration to take place that would speak out against Israel). It was an international, global event that I was proud to be a part of.
Regrettably (but expected) the BBC among our other terrestrial channels felt this wasn't worthy of showing in the news. Maybe they're waiting until next week Saturday the 26th of July, when we come back with (hopefully) another one hundred thousand strong (maybe even more).
I look forward to seeing you all there