We are expecting another massive march this weekend to demand a permanent ceasefire in Gaza where we will be on the streets of London from across Britain to make our voices heard.

Despite the temporary ‘pause’ in fighting and the exchange of hostages and prisoners, we know that this is only a brief and partial respite for the people of Gaza, who face a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions. Over 14500 are dead, including up to 6000 children, half the buildings in the north of Gaza have been badly damaged or destroyed, and hospitals and schools have been targets of Israeli bombardment.  Without a permanent ceasefire the truce announced today could prove to be little more than a stay of execution of thousands of Palestinian men, women and children.  We believe it is therefore vital to keep marching and to raise our voices in solidarity with the Palestinians.

Our marches are repeatedly smeared as hate marches by right wing media and politicians. The reality is the opposite – they are mass peaceful protests attended by all races and religions, including many Jewish people. We march on clear anti racist foundations believing that the struggles against all forms of racism including antisemitism Islamophobia and Israel’s system of apartheid are indivisible. You are not an antiracist unless you oppose all of them in word and deed.  We also reject all attempts to conflate antisemitism with legitimate advocacy for Palestinian rights and criticism of the actions of the Israeli State. In this regard we reject all attempts to suggest that the chanting of the slogan From the river to the sea Palestine will be free is antisemitic or an expression of intent to harm Jewish Israelis or Jewish people more generally. The slogan expresses the legitimacy of the Palestinian people’s struggle against apartheid and for rights and freedom.

We ask that all attending our marches respect these clear anti-racist principles, including in any signs or placards they choose to bring to the march.

We expect this march to be peaceful and, as in previous weeks, mainly without incident. We regret very much that the police and some of the media tend to highlight a very few incidents, and we feel it is intrusive for the police to leaflet the march. But we do ask that everyone avoids any actions that might leave you or others around you open to arrest. Please also follow the instructions of our stewards if there are any incidents or problems.

We put a huge amount of effort into stewarding and safeguarding our marches. We know that our supporters will do everything they can to cooperate and work together and make this another great protest when we stand up for the rights of the Palestinians.

When the march is over please disperse quickly and in groups to avoid any problems from the police or anyone else. We ask everyone to stay together, to organise stewards for your coach or group, to avoid any provocations, and to ensure that we have another protest which demonstrates to the world our strength and determination in solidarity with Palestine.

Statement on behalf of: Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Stop the War Coalition, Muslim Association of Britain, Palestinian Forum in Britain and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

24 Nov 2023 by Stop the War

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