Global March to Jerusalem London demonstration

Thanks to Seymour for the video

Report by Carl B.

Friday 30 March 2012

Hundreds of people – many wearing keffiyehs – assembled on Kensington High Street, very near to the Embassy of Israel and demanded freedom for Palestine as well as an end to Israeli policies of ethnic cleansing and apartheid in Jerusalem – policies sustained by the complicity of companies such as Veolia.

Demonstrators held placards reading ‘END THE ETHNIC CLEANSING IN JERUSALEM,’ ‘FREEDOM FOR PALESTINE’ and ‘END ISRAELI APARTHEID’ and chanted “In our thousands in our millions, we are all Palestinians,” “The-world-demands-a-free-Palestine” and “Long Live Palestine.”

This London demonstration, organised by UK solidarity organisations, was part of the Global March to Jerusalem, an international initiative with protests and demonstrations taking place globally that coincided with Land Day, an international day of action in solidarity with Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

Palestinian Ambassador to the UK Manuel Hassassian, called for an “open Jerusalem” and a Jerusalem not monopolised by one religion over another nor one nationality against another.

In a powerful address, Jeremy Corbyn MP told demonstrators that every Palestinian on Earth is under occupation, under siege or in exile and that no Palestinian is allowed to live free in Palestine. Corbyn also called for an end to the EU-Israel Economic Agreement as long as Israel continues to blatantly flout international law.

Sarah Colborne of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign said that the presence of so many people assembled sent a very clear message to the British Government, the Embassy of Israel and people throughout the UK that ethnic cleansing taking place in Jerusalem will not go unchallenged. Another speaker, Lindsay German of Stop the War encouraged people to protest and demonstrate until Palestine is free.

Meanwhile, surrounded by even more police on the other side of the street, there were fewer than ten Zionist counter-demonstrators, some holding Israeli flags, who stood in a pen adorned with English and Union Jack banners that were – by fault or design – visually reminiscent of far-right hate groups such as the EDL and BNP.

All wrapped up in patriotism?

Is this Kensington High Street or Monmouth Street? Named and shamed (in a non-photoshopped 2010 image) are Jonathan Hoffman (on the left) and Stephen Franklin (facing camera) of the Zionist Federation alongside their Islamophobic EDL "Jewish Division" allies outside Ahava amid a display of English and Union Jack flags. Many would agree that both these national symbols were hijacked by the UK's racist ultra-right groups including the National Front, BNP, EDL and now - the Zionist Federation.

Friday's large Zionist turnout. Note the Union Jack displayed on the right. Samuel Johnson once said that "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." How true.