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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 May 2019

Palestinian solidarity demo

Nakba Day demo, London, 11.5.19

Nakba Day demo, London, 11.5.19   (Click to enlarge)

London Socialist Party reporters

Several thousand protesters including Palestinians, Muslim organisations, the Socialist Party and other left-wing groups marched through central London on 11 May to mark Nakba Day.

'Nakba' is the Arabic word for catastrophe. During the violent upheavals that accompanied the establishment of the state of Israel in May 1948, over 750,000 Palestinians were forced from their towns and villages, becoming homeless and impoverished.

A further 300,000 Palestinians were forced from their homes in the 1967 six-day war. Since then, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have lived under an increasingly unbearable and brutal Israeli occupation.

Palestinians in the 'open prison' of Gaza for over a year now have been protesting at the Israeli military's border security fence, against the Israeli government's blockade of the Gaza Strip, and demanding to be able to return to their lands before they were displaced. Nearly 200 Palestinians - the overwhelming majority civilians - have been killed by live ammunition during these protests.

The London march rallied opposite Downing Street and speakers included Labour shadow home secretary Diane Abbott.

The star speaker was 18-year-old Ahed Tamimi - a Palestinian from the West Bank whose case spread in the news internationally after she was jailed for slapping and kicking an Israeli soldier in December 2017 who wouldn't leave her family's courtyard. The incident took place just after Ahed heard that her cousin had been shot in the face by the Israeli military.

"I don't want to speak today about our suffering. We choose to suffer for freedom and justice. Injustice is everywhere," said Ahed.

However, while Ahed spoke for only a few minutes the Palestinian ambassador to the UK, Dr Husam Zomlot, made a very long but vacuous speech.

Many left groups present demanded a 'free Palestine' but without explaining how this could be achieved in the context of a crisis-ridden capitalist region. The Socialist Party, in contrast, argued that Palestinian self-determination - given the starting point of acute distrust between the two communities in Israel/Palestine - can only be won by a working -class struggle both within the Palestinian enclaves and within Israel for a socialist Palestine along with a socialist Israel.

Socialist Party members distributed hundreds of leaflets advertising our forthcoming meeting, sold the Socialist and engaged in some very positive conversations with Palestinians.

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In The Socialist 15 May 2019:


News

Take the wealth off the super-rich

Privatisers sue NHS - kick out the fat cats and fully nationalise our health service!

Workload-related mistakes by GPs on the rise - health unions need to fight back

Knife crime tragedy linked to council cuts

Them & Us


What we think

Bosses fear revolt against capitalism


Workplace news

Mitie workers striking against poverty pay

Birmingham home care strikers close to victory!

Newham gas workers' strike threat

Usdaw united on need for fightback - now keep pressure on for action

End high-stakes testing in primary schools: build the boycott ballot!

PCS union officialdom splits vote, removes Chris Baugh - but is still rejected by members

Honda bosses confirm Swindon closure: Unite must signal it will fight


International socialist news and analysis

Revolution and counter-revolution in Sudan


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Trump UK visit: Protest against the billionaire bigot

Palestinian solidarity demo


Climate change

Profit system rapidly destroying environment

Socialist policies needed to halt climate disaster


Opinion

May 1649 - the Last Stand of the Levellers

The Socialist Inbox


 

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