Birmingham Stands With Palestine

Following the recent assault by the Israeli Defence Force on the West Bank and Gaza, two recent protests took place in Birmingham, at which Socialist Party members were in attendance.

On Tuesday 11th of May, a protest was called for 6PM outside of Waterstones in the heart of Birmingham’s shopping district to address the ongoing atrocities in Palestine. While this demonstration was called with little notice, a small contingent of comrades intervened with leaflets and petitions and were greeted warmly in their show of solidarity with the peoples of Palestine and their struggle for their very survival. 

The protest itself pulled a large crowd, managing to block almost the entire street in a flurry of flags and placards, which only grew and grew as it went on. Throughout the activity was a continuous stream of impassioned speakers with powerful messages to the masses, imploring governments and people from all walks of life to bring a stop to the violence and occupation from the Israeli forces, and restore peace to the region.

Victoria Square in the centre of Birmingham was almost filled to capacity with an angry demonstration against the Israeli bombardment of the Palestinian population. The mood of many of the demonstrators has shown how the Middle East can be seriously destabilised by the Israeli government's actions.

Much of the vitriol was directed against the British government for failing to support the Palestinians and for selling arms to Israel. Many were calling for the government to stop selling arms and for a boycott of Israeli goods. The Gaza situation was likened to apartheid South Africa.

While the demo was quite correctly angry at these events no political strategy capable of pushing the Israeli government back was outlined by any of the speakers at the rally, in facts some of the speeches could only result in widening divisions between Jews and Palestinians and create an even more dangerous situation.

Disgracefully, the organiser, who is the Secretary of Birmingham Trades Union Council, refused a request from the Socialist Party to speak at the rally because we wanted 'a cosy chat with the Israeli working class'. Today's events have only been made possible because of the failure of Palestinian nationalist organisations and their shadows elsewhere to appeal to Jewish workers on a class basis and draw them away from anti-working class reactionaries like Netanyahu.

Thankfully that sectarianism wasn't shared by the majority of the demonstrators who received our leaflet well and donated £28.40 with 31 people signing our petition.

We're holding a Zoom meeting to discuss how Palestine can win genuine liberation at 7:30pm on Thursday 20th May - click here to log in to the meeting or enter meeting ID 419 333 9324

For further analysis on the situation in Israel and Palestine, check out our latest article.

Written by workers for workers.

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