A rally entitled “Voices for Lebanon and Palestine” featured impassioned pleas and speeches from community and religious leaders as well as comedians, actors, and Members of Parliament.
Thousands of protesters came together in Trafalgar Square to protest Israel’s continuing mass slaughter of the Lebanese and Palestinian people and the British government’s complicity.
Deep empathy was expressed throughout the day for the victims of the second Qana massacre this morning.
The event highlighted the shameful complicity of the Blair government and was organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and supported by groups including the Stop the War Coalition, British Muslim Initiative, and the Lebanese Welfare Community.
Diverse individuals and activists called for an immediate end to Israeli violence. Other demonstrations took place throughout the UK including outside Prestwick Airport in Glasgow which has been used as a stopover for American military aircraft transporting weapons to Israel.
Former Labour MP Tony Benn addressed the crowd insisting that Parliament must be reconvened to discuss the crisis. He said: “As we talk, women and children are being killed in the Lebanon by bombs sold and given by the US and passed through British airports with the support of the British Government.” “What we are witnessing is a war crime committed by Israel with the support of the American and the British governments - that is the truth.”
Hundreds of Lebanese and Palestinian flags were proudly on display throughout Trafalgar Square in central London.
Several other demonstrations and vigils have been planned across the UK. See www.palestinecampaign.org for details.
All images: Mary Nazzal-Batayneh