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More than 200,000 march through London as towns and cities across Britain mark Nakba Day

MORE than 200,000 Palestine supporters marched through London on Saturday as protests in towns and cities across Britain marked Nakba Day.

The national day of action was the 76th anniversary of the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and their land to create the state of Israel.

Edinburgh saw its biggest Palestine protest ever with 10,000 mobilising.

Thousands more marched in major centres including Manchester, Cardiff and Leeds.

The protests took place amid increasing political pressure to restrict the right to protest, including proposals from the Campaign Against Antisemitism for the government to make clear “police have the power” to stop protests including those in the capital.

The Home Office has said it will “look closely” at the proposal.

Saturday’s London march was swollen by coachloads of supporters from Birmingham, Bristol, Coventry, Derby, Lincoln, Newcastle, Durham, Peterborough, Portsmouth, Sheffield, Shropshire, Southampton, Worcester and other centres.

After marching through central London, protesters rallied in Whitehall where they cheered moving and rousing speeches.

Journalist-photographer Motaz Azaiza, whose reports have helped expose Israel’s war crimes in Gaza, told the crowd: “You made me feel that there is hope.

“I did not believe in anyone, but after more than 226 days today I saw there is hope. The hope is in the people, not governments.

“You make us, as the people of Gaza, feel hope again. And believe me, the people of Gaza see you.

“The occupation is using all the weapons against us — the bombs, the killings, the starvation, the apartheid in the West Bank. Now it is killing people forcing them to leave the land.”

But he said: “I believe you will do more. We all together will do more to stop the genocide.”

Yusuf Islam, who as singer-songwriter Cat Stevens sold 10 million records in the 1960s and 1970s, told the protesters: “Every human being should have a conscience.

“If you bury the conscience the human being has gone. You are the voice of the conscience.”

In Cardiff, thousands set off from the statue of Aneurin Bevan and marched past the castle and the BBC Wales headquarters in central Square.

Stop the War Cymru convener Dominic Macaskill said: “Wales has sent out a clear message with a massive turnout at this Nakba demonstration.

“The genocide of the Palestinian people in Gaza must stop immediately and we will not stop protesting until there is a just peace.”


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