Before the event
During the event
After the event
Once again millions of people around the World turned out for marches and rallies for International al-Quds Day. This included marches in Gaza, UK, Yemen, Nigeria, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, United States, Canada, and Pakistan, amongst others. Since 1979, International al-Quds Day marches have been continuously growing, and what was originally setup to unite all Muslims in the World around the issue of Palestine, has now grown into uniting all communities around the world of all faiths and none around the issue of Palestine.
Before the event
The campaign leading up to Quds Day took part from the beginning of Ramadan. Promotion towards the Quds Day came through mass flyering, with thousands of flyers being handed out. This was done at events and protests, whilst also distributed at mosques and shops. Volunteers travelled across Britain to make sure that flyers were available in different parts of the country. The flyer was shared by the supporting organisations on their social media as well.
Various videos went up on social media, with different community leaders across the World calling for people to attend the march. These videos included a video of Rabbi Beck of Haradi Jewish group Neturei Karta, which garnered over eighty-five thousand views and eleven and a half thousand likes on TikTok, Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Mandla Mandela, who said that apartheid must be defeated in Palestine as it was in South Africa, retired Anglican priest Reverend Stephen Sizer, and another with various women in Gaza. All these videos received views in the thousands. Other videos showcased the international nature of the Quds Day marches, showing a few from around the World. An advert went out on social media and across various television channels, which was also a great draw towards the event.
A large number of mosques called for people to go during their Jummah khutbas. Interviews about the march were given in the week running up to it on Press TV, UNews, and channels in Indonesia and Turkey.
In the UK we saw huge numbers turn out in London for the al-Quds Day Rally, united against apartheid, in the biggest Quds Day Rally held in the West, and the largest pro-Palestinian rally in the UK since 2020. 15,000 people marched against the apartheid, more than doubling the numbers from last year. It was beautiful to see such a diverse crowd, which included Muslims, Jews, Christians, and Socialists. This also included a huge amount of support from the Black community, with three prominent organisations supporting and sending speakers to the event. It was probably the most diverse Quds Day protest London has seen so far.
Supporting organisations were made up of a large coalition of groups, included Islamic Human Rights Commission, Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK, Black Lives Matter Coalition UK, Scotland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, InMinds, 5 Pillars, Neturei Karta, Fight Racism Fight Imperialism, Uhuru Movement, Jewish Network for Palestine, Ahlulbayt Islamic Mission, Union of Islamic Students of Europe, Ahlulbayt Sisters, Black Activists Rising Against Cuts, Idara-e-Jaajeriya, Lebanese Society of Scotland, Scotland Against Criminalising Communities, the Convivencia Alliance, and Nelson Mandela’s grandson Nkosi Zwelivelile ‘Mandla’ Mandela.
The protestors first assembled outside the Home Office, where they were started off with a talk from South African shaykh; Suliman Kani. After which the crowds began to march towards downing street, passing the Houses of Parliament along the way. After a recitation of the Noble Qur’an, came speeches from representatives of various organisations.
Les Levidow of Jewish Network for Palestine and the Convivencia Alliance said that Zionist terrorism is downplayed by Western media when compared to other forms of terrorism, and that the Zionist Project was modelled on earlier European induced settler-colonial genocides and apartheids in the Global South, referencing Southern Africa and the Native Australian Genocide.
Huda Ammori, a Palestinian activist with Palestine Action, the group responsible for shutting down Israeli weapons factories in the UK through direct action, said that such companies bomb innocent Palestinians and then use these murders to promote their weapons as being “battle-tested”. She also added that Palestine Action were “sick and tired of appealing to the powers that be” and that “every single government in Britain for the past 100 years has been complicit in the oppression of the Palestinian people”.
Also speaking was Farrah Koutteineh, another Palestinian activist who heralds from al-Quds, and is the founder of KEY48, a campaign calling for the immediate return of all Palestinian refugees. She said “The violence Palestine is enduring has been happening every single day that the Israeli settler colony has existed and Palestinians will continue to be a victim to that violence for as long as the Israeli settler colony continues to exist.”
Political hip hop artist Lowkey then contextualised the recent attacks on the al-Aqsa mosque saying “The Israeli regime, through the ministry of culture and the ministry of education funds several organisations that have the explicit intention of the destruction of the two masjids at al-Aqsa and the replacing of them with a temple.”
Next came former MP and television presenter Chris Williamson, who said that Israel was a terrorist state, “How else can you explain a regime that uses exploding bullets to shoot children so that they know that someone who’s struck in the leg by one of these exploding bullets is almost certain to have their legs amputated.”
This was followed by Rabbi Jacob Weisz of the Jewish group Neturei Karta, started in Palestine. He said; “The Zionists have brought a curse, a misfortune on us all, on us Jews and on Palestinians. We used to live together in peace and brotherhood without any problems in Palestine. We want to do it again, we can do it again, but not with the curse of Zionism. Afterwards fellow rabbi Elhanan Beck added, “I hope that this is the last march against Israel, next year we will commemorate the Quds Day in a free Palestine”.
Next to speak was the Reverend Dr Stephen Sizer, a retired Anglican priest. He said that Israeli occupation is “based on segregation, on supremacism, on apartheid, a colonisation which involves a systematic, pre-meditated ethnic cleansing, in breach of International law, Geneva Convention and UN resolutions.”
Delia Mattis, a leader and organiser within the UK chapter of Black Lives Matter, spoke about the links between the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and Palestine. “When Nelson Mandela was fighting against apartheid in South Africa, what did they call him? They called him a terrorist. Do you remember the governments cross the World? All nations turned their back on South Africa, do you remember? Cos, they said he was a terrorist.” She then continued to say that “Yassar Arafat stood with the black people of South Africa when no one else would and that’s why I’m standing with you in solidarity from Black Lives Matter.”
Ahammed Hussein, of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK spoke of how as well as ethnically cleansing the Palestinians, the Zionist movement is trying to conquer our minds. “Unfortunately many of us have already surrendered, let me explain. So long as Israel successfully misframes Palestinian resistance as a bunch of antisemitic mad bloody Muslims, then the rest of the people you know are going to hesitate to defend them. Really reflect, where is everyone you know? Why aren’t they here?”
Next to speak was Mick Napier of Scotland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, who said that “The Israeli police are under the control of Ben Gvir. Ben Gvir calls for the mass killing of Palestinians, he has been given by Netenyahu his own militia.”
Ali Erkaslan of Fight Racism Fight Imperialism, who have been tirelessly
campaigning outside Marks and Spencers in response to their links with Zionism, said; “75 years of Zionist land grabbing, the expulsion of the Palestinian people from their own land. 75 years of aggression, terrorist raids, regression, racism, mass incarceration, murders, assassinations, massacres inflicted on the Palestinian people. 75 years of constant drive to obliterate the name, history and the culture of Palestine by the colonial settler state of Israel with direct military, diplomatic, political, economic and financial support of the imperialist British state, and yet the resistance of Palestine is undefeated, the heroic struggle of the Palestinian people for liberation is unbreakable!”
Luwezi Kishasa of the Uhuru Movement, a global movement for the liberation of black people relayed a message from the organisations chair in the United States Omali Yeshitela. He said “The question of Palestine is one of the most important struggles in the World, where a stateless people face everyday the Israeli army, which is nothing but a US military occupation in the Middle East.”
Jon Maxted from campaign group No2NATO spoke about the killing of Mohammed al-Asibi, a young Palestinian physician who was shot more than a dozen times on his way to al-Aqsa Mosque, whilst Hector Wesley representing Black Activists Rising Against Cuts said that his solidarity “is for the Palestinian people themselves, it’s for them to define the solution to the oppression they face” and that “they have the right to self-determination”.
Massoud Shadjareh, chair of the Islamic Human Rights Commission spoke to the future, saying “25-30 years ago, if you said that this regime is gonna be gone, people would be thinking ‘Oh come on, are you serious?’, now everyone knows that this regime is going and is on its last legs, the only question that’s left is what are we going to do to make it happen sooner rather than later?”
The event was finished with a dua from Said Taqi Rezawi, who first spoke a few words on the situation from a Muslim point of view, quoting Ali ibn Abi Talib, “Be an adversary to the oppressor and a helper to the oppressed.”
A counter protest saw around 20 Zionists present, one of whom was arrested for attempting to attack a young female steward. Apart from that there were no other issues, and the police managed to keep most of the Zionists away from the protestors. Zionist propagator Joseph Cohen was caught on camera being challenged by a Palestinian Christian present, whose verbal exchange has got over 200,000 views on Tiktok, as well as many views on other social media platforms. This followed a successful livestream of the entire event on Tiktok where around 69,500 people viewed, with 250,900 likes and 2,592 gifts sent to the organisers as donations. It was also streamed by UNews live to 69 locations, mostly to news channels and organisations in various countries including Turkey, Indonesia and was streamed directly into Gaza by the 16th October Group.
Below is a video of the whole event.
It is beyond doubt now that the British population will not give up on Palestine, and politicians can no longer hide the crimes of the apartheid and expect the issue to just be forgotten.
After the event
Many different groups and individuals filmed on the day and uploaded videos onto social media. The Middle East Eyes video on the event gathered eighty-seven thousand views, whilst another video by Mint Press got twelve and a half thousand.
The organisers would like to thank those who attended and made the rally such a strong success, 15,000 people is a clear showing of support for the Palestinian cause, many of whom were fasting. We would also like to thank the supporting organisations who helped promote the event on many different channels including via WhatsApp and their social media accounts, to the speakers who gave such fantastic speeches, the stewards who did a great job managing the crowds which were larger than expected and kept the march orderly, the mosques who helped promote the event, the volunteers who made placards in the run up to the event, those who traversed the country to promote the event, to the stage crew for organising the stage and the sound making sure that it could be heard by attendees from Downing Street to Parliament Square, and to those people around the World who sent supporting statements to promote the event.