London's biggest ever pro-Palestine protest
By M Ghazali Khan, The Milli Gazette Online
Published Online: Aug 12, 2014
London: Such is the anger of British public against BBC’s coverage of Israeli atrocities in Gaza that the anti-Israeli-barbarism-rally, Saturday, attended by at least 150,000 protestors, began right from outside the BBC Headquarter in central London and passing by the BBC’s offices in Portland Street, protesters made victory signs pointing towards BBC building and chanting, “No justice, no peace” and “shame on you”, “shame on BBC”.
In order to pacify rising public anger against it, BBC has shown live coverage of the rally albeit not without the statement of an Israeli diplomat expressing his displeasure, “We don't have a problem with the protest per se; we have a problem with people expressing support for a terror organisation which is designated in the UK [Hamas] and which today is the key obstacle to the prosperity of Gaza."
In another development BBC has, after the approval from Israeli Government, decided to broadcast Gaza relief appeal something it had refused to show in 2009 on the pretext that such an appeal would compromise its impartiality.
It should be remembered that BBC’s director of news James Harding is an unabashed supporter of the Zionist state. Mr Harding, also former editor of ‘The Times,’ is on record to have told ‘Jewish Chronicle‘, “I am pro-Israel,” he said. “I believe in the state of Israel. I would have had a real problem if I had been coming to a paper with a history of being anti-Israel. And, of course, Rupert Murdoch is pro-Israel.
Interestingly in 2004 succumbing to the immense Zionist pressure Guardian newspaper had to get rid of its trainee journalist Dilpazier Aslam for his association with Hizb-ut-Tahrir.
Holding banners, placards and even flags of different countries, protesters passed by the US Embassy where they stopped for a while pointing fingers towards the Embassy building and chanted in utter anger and disgust, “shame on you, shame on you”.
Other slogans included, “Killing children is a crime, free free Palestine”; “In a thousand in a million, we are all Palestinians”; “In a million, in a billion we are all Palestinians”; “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”; “One to three four, occupation no more, five six seven eight Israel is a terrorist state”; “Shame on Cameroon, shame on Netanyahu”; “Gaza, Gaza don’t you cry we will not let you die”; “Bit by bit, one by one, Israeli apartheid has to go”; “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty”; “Stop bombing Palestine”; “Stop the massacre”; “BBC stop whitewashing Israel’s crimes”
The rally ended at the Hyde Park where speakers after speakers attacked Israel and demanded the British Government to put arms embargo on Israel.
Addressing the rally known human rights activist, leader of the Respect Party and MP from Bradford, George Galloway who was reportedly facing the threats of being arrested and prosecuted for declaring in a rally "Bradford as an Israel-free Zone”.
George Galloway (speaking)
Reiterating his stand he declared that he wanted, “Absolute ban on Israel” except those four percent of brave Israelis who had come out in protest against Israeli atrocities and have endured police action. He dared the British Government to arrest him saying, “Nothing will make me happier than to meet you in court”. The MP known for his outspokenness added, “All the speakers have told you nothing but the truth but none of the speakers has yet told the whole truth and here is the truth: the whole state of Israel is a completely illegitimate enterprise.”
Veteran activist, writer and journalist Tariq Ali said that British politicians in all political parties need to understand that, “There is no equivalence between the Palestinian resistance and the Israeli occupation. When a country is occupied whether it was Algeria, whether it was Vietnam, whether it’s Iraq, whether it’s any other country, always a resistance emerges. And it’s no good saying it isn’t a perfect resistance. If the occupation is ugly you will not have a pretty resistance…If you want the tunnels to stop being built. If you want no rockets being fired, get out of Gaza, get out of Palestine.”
Tariq Ali added that in an interview, not reported in any mainstream media, to Zionist American journalist David Horowitz asked Netanyahu if he was honestly prepared to consider a democratic sovereign Palestine, “Netanyahu replied very clearly, ‘No’. And he is telling the truth. It’s not just Netanyahu; this has been the policy of every successive Zionist government in Israel. They will not tolerate an independent Palestine. And that’s why we say if you are not prepared to tolerate that then there’s only one solution: ONE STATE.”
In a pre-recorded telephonic message from Gaza Palestinian MP Mustafa Barghouti said no camera can record the brutality and devastation he had seen with his eyes there.
Other speakers included Labour MPs, Diane Abbott and Jeremy Corbyn.
This rally was part of the weekly protests being organised by Stop the War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Friends of Al Aqsa, British Muslim Initiative, Muslim Association of Britain and Palestinian Forum in Britain against Israeli barbarism.
Among various groups and organisations participating in the protest was South Asia Solidarity Group. A statement distributed by the SASG at the rally condemned Israeli barbarism and, “Indian government for its shameful silence and ambiguity over Israel’s genocide and its refusal initially to even discuss the issue in Parliament.” It also deplored “India’s deepening relationship with Israel.”
South Asia Solidarity Group, led by Amrit Wilson, an activist, writer and journalist.