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From The Socialist newspaper, 2 June 2021

Stop Israeli state terror: solidarity protests continue

Worcester: How we organised a protest

Worcester

Worcester   (Click to enlarge)

After people showed support for the Socialist Party demands on our campaign stall against Israeli state terror, we left some of our posters up so the message would remain visible. A few days later, we received a phone call.

The person was aware of a protest planned, but he and others wanted to protest earlier. He had seen our posters, and tracked down our contact details.

We decided to move the location of our 22 May stall to outside the Guildhall, and welcomed him and others to come along and show solidarity. It was one of our most successful stalls - 30 people joined us, over 20 bought a copy of the Socialist, and we raised almost 100 fighting fund.

The 29 May protest was an order of magnitude larger. The day before, people were worried it might be cancelled as the authorities tried to make someone liable for the event.

300 people heard speeches, including from the Socialist Party. Our call for a socialist intifada received an enthusiastic round of applause.

On both protests, people were cynical about the messages from establishment politicians. On the latter protest, 30 people bought a copy of the Socialist, and we raised over 100 fighting fund.

Mark Davies

Coventry

Coventry

Coventry   (Click to enlarge)

Although it was a smaller protest than the previous week, around 100, the Socialist Party supported the protests for the third week in a row. Many on this demo had not been to the others.

The smaller event raises the question of how to keep the momentum going. The first person we met on the protest asked us: "What can I do to help?" We pointed her to our West Midlands online meeting, and said to raise the issue in her union branch with the demands on our leaflet.

The second person we met accused us of supporting Hamas, because our placards only mention Israel. We showed him our leaflet. As well as explaining how to take the Palestine struggle forward, it criticises counterproductive Hamas rocket attacks and its failure to fight for an independent working-class alternative. He came to us ready for an argument, but left thanking us for being the only left group he had met to take the issue seriously.

Adam Harmsworth

Leicester

The demo of 300-400 people on 30 May was strong, youthful and lively. Steve Hedley, assistant general secretary of transport union RMT, highlighted the need for new mass workers' parties both here and in Palestine.

We discussed with loads of protesters. We talked with some of the organisers of the Elbit demo in Leicester about our article in the Socialist on that protest (see 'Leicester protest against arms supplies to Israel' at socialistparty.org.uk), and what can be done to take that struggle forward. We sold 21 copies of the Socialist, and raised 16 fighting fund.

Towards the end of the demo a young student came up to the Socialist Party campaign stall, and said she wanted to volunteer with us. We had a great chat about education, and the incident in a Leicester school where students were told to take down pro-Palestine posters.

The mood has really changed in Leicester. A significant number of youth are frustrated by over a decade of austerity and endless wars, and understand the need for socialism and working-class unity.

Lindsey Morgan

We thought we were going to do a campaign stall near Leicester University on 27 May. We had just finished handing out leaflets to students at QWE College when we came across a group of sixth formers carrying the Palestinian flag.

A brief chat revealed they were on their way to protest in Leicester city centre. We joined them in a lively and noisy demo against Israeli state brutality. The protesters were keen to point out that they were not anti-Jewish, but anti-Israeli state brutality and oppression.

Students eagerly took our posters and leaflets, and signed our petition. We raised over 23 fighting fund, and sold eight copies of the Socialist.

Heather Rawling

Birmingham

Birmingham

Birmingham   (Click to enlarge)

Hundreds of young protesters were welcomed with food. However, they were angry that they had had zero support from Labour councillors and MPs. One speaker spoke about the protests at Elite KL in Tamworth, which is selling arms to Israel.

The Socialist Party was thanked for attending, and was invited to address the crowd. We spoke about further austerity that Boris Johnson and Benjamin Netanyahu are preparing for British, Palestinian and Israeli workers alike.

We marched to the city centre to meet up with hundreds more protesters. Protesters donated 53 to help us pay for even more placards.

Joe Foster

Birmingham Uni

The demo was called in response to the 4.5 million investments by the University of Birmingham in companies tied to the Israeli military and occupation of the West Bank. The demonstration reached 300 people, many chose to check out our Socialist Students stall. Over 100 people were interested in Socialist Students, and 16 bought a copy of the Socialist.

Lluis Bertolin

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

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In The Socialist 2 June 2021:


NHS

3 July day of protest - save our NHS from the Tories


Covid-19

Capitalism's Covid failings


Unite election

Unite general secretary campaign: Statement from Sharon Graham

Unite general secretary campaign: Statement from Howard Beckett


Israel/Palestine

Boycotts - what role can these play in the struggle for a Palestinian state?

Stop Israeli state terror: solidarity protests continue


US politics

Will Biden's 'green' agenda avert an impending climate change catastrophe?


Workplace news

Sparks force bosses to talk after blockading AWE

Save jobs, save livelihoods, save GKN Automotive - nationalise the plant!

Workplace round-up


International news

Belarus: Lukashenko's desperate attempt to silence opposition

Colombia: General strikes continue


Campaigns news

Cladding danger: Protest 5 June!

Pimlico Academy protest demands elected governors

York students demand democratic control of schools

Protests against anti-protest bill

Waltham Forest byelections: Council homes not unaffordable flats

Raising Fighting Fund in Southern region

Hillsborough crimes go unpunished


Universities

University funding reform: Fight for free, fully funded education for all


 

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Related links:

Israel:

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triangleThe Israeli working class

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Terror:

triangleHundreds of thousands join solidarity protests

triangleTens of thousands march against Israeli state terror

triangleStop the Israeli state terror

triangleReading workers' movement responds to knife attack

State:

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Protest:

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Leicester:

triangleThe story of Joe Clough - Britain's first black bus driver

Palestinian:

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