Created: Monday, 14 July 2014 10:50
Written by Manchester FRFI
Take to the streets…Intensify the Boycott!
Manchester RCG called an emergency rally for Palestine in Piccadilly, in the centre of the city, on Saturday 12 July. Over 300 people joined in the event reflecting the growing anger against the brutal actions of Israel and the continuing support for and excusing of their actions by the British government and mainstream media.
We organised an open mic for people to speak and express their outrage and opposition to Israel’s actions and the refusal of governments in Europe and the Middle East to openly condemn their actions. The speakers included young British Muslim women, Palestinians living in Britain, activists involved in Palestinian solidarity actions and representatives of political groups. The event had support from the Socialist Party and individuals from the PSC and Stop the War.
There was a collective agreement that boycott activity on the streets of the city had to be organised to build real solidarity with the Palestinian struggle, an organising meeting has been arranged and activity will take place next Saturday in the city centre. Contact us for details.
As the rally finished a group of around 30 motorcycles with Palestinian flags waving roared into Piccadilly on their way to the BBC as part of the ‘Drive for Justice’.
This was the next port of call for many people on the rally and we made our way to the new BBC centre in Media City to join the event called by the ‘Drive for Justice’ which was an initiative set in motion by a group of young Muslims in Blackburn, Youth on a Mission, to condemn the bias reporting of the BBC on Palestine. The original idea was to organise a convoy of vehicles to travel from Blackburn to the BBC in Manchester but this was quickly picked up by other groups from towns in Lancashire and parts of west Yorkshire and within a week it had snowballed to a number of convoys converging on the BBC. The RCG/FRFI in Manchester also helped to publicise the event and encouraged people from our rally to support the event. On the day there was around 4,000 people rallying outside the BBC with hundreds of cars and motorbikes having taken part. There were a number of speakers at the event including us and we relayed the call of the PFLP to ‘take to the streets and intensify the boycott’.
The success of the event, which had been organised within a week, showed the depth of anger at the actions of Israel and the complicity of the BBC and mainstream media in excusing and whitewashing Israel’s brutal bombing campaign and continuing occupation of Palestine. The numbers of people outside the BBC and the anger felt at the role they are playing shows the possibilities of building a strong anti imperialist campaign in solidarity with Palestine.
The only campaigning stall at the event though was ours with queues of people lining up to sign petitions calling for the release of Palestinian political prisoners and to get leaflets and literature.