Yesterday I went to Derby for a protest against the ongoing bombing of Gaza by Israel. It started off small, a few people on the steps of the Derby City Council House, and then it grew, spilling outwards until a huge crowd filled out Corporation Street.
I got close to the front in time to see the group on the steps setting off flares.
At the same time, in London 150,000 people marched to the Israeli embassy. At the FA Cup Final, the victorious Leicester FC celebrated with a Palestinian flag brought onto the pitch.
Today there was a protest in Oxford, Corbyn addressed the rally in Bonn Square. I was on an empty street in Leicester town centre, a little boy and his mum walked past, and the boy was happily chanting “free free Palestine” to himself.
On Tuesday evening there was a rally for Palestine in Leicester Town Square. I turned up late and was expecting a small thing mostly composed of existing activists, but I was surprised.
There was a big crowd, and mostly made up of ordinary people. I took a photo of three guys who were chatting together.
Without exaggeration, these are the biggest protests the country has seen since summer of last year; and these are mobilisations which have mostly passed by the left parties. It’s almost like the rallies for solidarity with Palestine have sprung up out of nowhere with mass support.
Freedom for Palestine! 🇵🇸