Around 20,000 protesters marched through London waving Palestinian flags and chanting anti-Israel slogans
By Anna Roberts4:55PM BST 09 Aug 2014
Thousands of demonstrators descended on the streets of central London this afternoon to protest at the bombing of Gaza by Israeli forces.
Waving placards and the black, white, green and red flag of Palestine, the marchers converged on the BBC’s Broadcasting House near Oxford Circus.
Chants of “Free, Free, Palestine” were shouted across London’s busy West End as marchers then made their way to Hyde Park to be addressed by speakers including George Galloway and Diane Abbott.
Organised by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign and Stop the War, the march passed peacefully, according to most onlookers. Pupils from Ed Miliband’s old school, Haverstock, in Chalk Farm, north London, joined the march, accompanied by a samba band.
Yasmin Rackal, 17, said: “People shouldn’t stand by and watch an injustice. I have little brothers and sisters and if I was in that situation I would want people globally to fight for me.”
Sanum Ghafoor, 22, had travelled from Luton to take part. She said: “It is a massacre of the Palestinians, and the world is staying quiet. The British Government keeps supporting the Israeli establishment.”
One Jewish marcher said he was appalled at the “horrific” images of dead bodies and bombed-out homes being beamed out of Gaza.
But Dan Rosenberg, 43, said while many of his Jewish friends felt the same, they were too afraid to join the march for fear of being abused.
The father of two from north London, said: “It is horrific what is going on in Gaza. It is collective punishment. I don’t know how any human being can stand back while this is happening.
“But it is difficult being here. We have seen the anti-Semitic attitudes and you feel very threatened and scared, but we feel we have to stand up and represent.
“Even standing here we feel quite uncomfortable. You hear people say they think the Jews run the media. Those beliefs are unpleasant, ignorant and racist.
“I have Jewish friends who wanted to come but they felt uncomfortable being here.”
A public appeal for money launched on Friday night to help thousands of Gazans has raised more than £4.5m in less than 24 hours.
The Department for International Development has pledged to match the first £2m donated by the public to the Gaza Crisis Appeal, which will help pay for food, water and shelter