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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 January 2009

100,000+ on Gaza protests

The mass demonstration on 10 January against the attacks on Gaza showed an escalation in size and anger. It also showed deepening political opposition, particularly of young people to this brutal war, siege and occupation. Over 100,000 demonstrators, at least double the number on the previous week's demonstration filled the streets and marched past the Israeli embassy.

Matt Dobson

Many demonstrators were determined not just to march in opposition but to act to stop the bloodshed. This was reflected in the enthusiastic response to the call by the Socialist Party and International Socialist Resistance for mass action by workers through the trade unions and by young people through protests and walkouts in schools, colleges and universities.

Protests at London colleges and schools will take place on Friday 16 January.

Protesters crowded around the Socialist Party and ISR stalls before the march began, for a street meeting putting forward a socialist solution to the cycle of war in the Middle East. Speakers from the Socialist Party and ISR condemned the military attacks backed by US imperialism on the imprisoned population of Gaza. They explained that we cannot trust the world's capitalist governments, corrupt repressive Arab regimes or the United Nations to secure a lasting peaceful solution to conflicts in the region. Many of the audience agreed that it is policies of putting profit, wealth and power before the interests of workers and the poor that cause the violence.

Our leaflets and placards putting forward a socialist programme - the need for mass struggle to liberate the peoples of the Middle East from capitalism and imperialism by building independent mass organisations based on the working class and poor, were read and displayed all over the demonstration.

Hundreds of demonstrators marched behind the red banners of ISR and Socialist Students on our contingent chanting: "1,2,3,4 stop the bombing, stop the war, 5,6,7,8 mass struggle, demonstrate", "end the siege of Gaza now!" and "Gordon Brown hear us say, anti war movement here to stay!". Around 500 copies of The Socialist were sold.

Much of the weekend's television press coverage of the demonstration ignored the scale of it and focused on the confrontations between protesters and riot police at the Israeli embassy. A more provocative, confrontational attitude of the police towards the recent anti-war demonstrations is evident. Our well stewarded contingent marched loudly but safely past the embassy despite the lack of space between protesters, steel barriers and riot police.


Drew Turner and Iain Dalton

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In The Socialist 14 January 2009:


War and occupation

Stop the Israeli state terror

100,000+ on Gaza protests


Socialist Party editorial

British economy heads deeper into crisis


Vote for Robbie Segal

Stop job cuts


Socialist Party youth and students

Fight for your future

Fight for free education

Building ISR and Socialist Students in 2009

Fight for your future: what ISR campaigns for


Socialist Party campaigns

The 2012 Olympics legacy

Heathrow expansion protest

Defend threatened Saudi Arabian trade unionist

Wirral: Marching to stop the cuts

Fast News


Socialist Party feature

The NHS today - can it meet everyone's health needs?


Socialist Party workplace news

Conference: 'The crisis in working class political representation'

GlaxoSmithKline: The fightback starts here

Tube cleaners protest against victimisation

Job cuts announced at Nissan


International socialist news and analysis

Jobs meltdown hits Ireland

Debate and meeting in Dublin

Sri Lanka -: Vicious attacks on media and killing of newspaper editor

Bangladesh: Protesters denounce global mining corporation


Socialist Party review

Che


Socialist Party feature

Why Manchester rejected the congestion charge


 

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