Organisers of national march in London next week to support occupied and displaced Palestinians say they fear the event may be targeted by Zionist extremists after a decision by officials to not police the event.
The Metropolitan Police have said they will not be policing the annual event this year breaking with a historic policy to make sure the march passes off peacefully.
This has left organisers fearful that Zionist extremists who have called a rival rally on the same day will seek to disrupt the pro-Palestinian march. A promotional YouTube video posted by the Zionists is highly dramatic and antagonistic, and the Facebook page appears to be a ‘call to arms’. Violence has broken out at previous counter-demonstrations by Zionist organisations where make-shift missiles were lobbed at the march attendees.
The coalition of Zionist groups has also described slogans and calls for the dismantling of the apartheid state of Israel as “hatred against the Jewish people”.
Thousands are expected to turn out to commemorate al-Quds Day, a day that has been marked globally since being inaugurated in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini who asked for the last Friday in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan to be set aside as a day for uniting against Israel and showing support for the dispossessed and oppressed Palestinians.
Since then it has snowballed into a general show of solidarity drawing in people of all faiths and political persuasions. This year’s London event will again feature people of all political and religious persuasions including Jews from Israel, Christians and Muslims.
IHRC chair Massoud Shadjareh said: “It is evident from their promotional literature that the Zionist groups are intent on promoting hatred against the Palestinians and those who support them and are coming to confront peaceful demonstrators in what is essentially a multicultural and multi-religious family gathering. Far from being an expression of hate the demonstration is a call to end the racist ideology of Zionism and Israeli oppression of the Palestinians.”
The event will take place on Sunday 3 July, with demonstrators assembling in Duchess Street in preparation for a march through the busy streets of central London to Grosvenor Square, home to the US embassy.
The embassy has again been selected as a rallying point because of Washington’s continuing support of Israel. The US continues to underwrite the Zionist regime financially, militarily and politically and block all attempts at finding a just solution to the Palestinian issue.
While much of the world’s attention has been deflected by other conflicts in the Middle East, the Zionist regime has continued its relentless policy of settlement building, confiscating and isolating Palestinian lands and restricting Palestinians’ movement and access to the necessities of daily life such as water and medical care. Resistance to the occupation has been met with bullets – some 200 Palestinians have been killed in the last year.
The Gaza Strip remains effectively blockaded by Israel on one side and the Egyptian military regime on the other. The siege has crippled the economy with 41% of people out of work, higher than any other economy in the world, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Youth unemployment is believed to be 60%. Some 80% of inhabitants are dependent on external aid to survive.
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Notes to editors:
Date and Time of demonstration: 3 July from 3pm
Assembly Point: Duchess Street (near BBC Radio)
End/rally location: Grosvenor Square, opposite US embassy[Ends]
IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
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