London - Palestine solidarity | 04.01.2009 02:05
• We won't stop demonstrating until the killing stops in Gaza!
• Demonstrations need to begin at 5pm – not 2pm on working days!
• The demonstrators should be in control of our actions, our demands and our next steps
Since the bombing began, every day hundreds of demonstrators have gathered outside the embassies of Israel or Egypt. On Sunday and Monday, we refused to be penned, took the street, occupied the space in front of the embassy gates and expressed our horror and outrage at the brutal murders happening in Gaza. On Sunday night the police were able to split the crowd in three, beat many people and arrest around twenty. On Monday night the crowd defied police aggression to take the road and later pushed their way down High St Kensington despite mounted police.
As the bombing continues so have the demonstrations, although from Tuesday they they were timed for 2pm. Since then they have shrunk and now the demonstrators remain in the pen. All week people have said that we will be outside the Israeli embassy until the massacre stops, more people would be able to come at 5 and then we could continue to block the road to show our disgust and anger.
There is a real danger that the action will fizzle out, without real direction, or that energy will be diverted merely into lobbying MPs, or endless rounds of ever-smaller marches. Unless we build to the next level, our movement will shrink away. This is why we raise the slogans above: keep mobilising, keep in touch (with us, with others), keep talking. Not only do we need a movement open to all, including working people, we need one which builds towards more confrontational tactics, such as occupations of university or government buildings.
The turnout from the left, anti-capitalists, and the trade union movement has been weak. This has to change: Gaza, and those already demonstrating, deserve the solidarity. With bigger mobilisations we can achieve more: help by encouraging and mobilising more people to attend solidarity demonstrations.
There should be an open, democratic way of organising solidarity: the people involved in the mobilisations need to decide a direction for the movement, not the executive of any national group.
We need to be connected in order to build practical and political responses to the war on the Palestinians. If you agree, contact us at: email@example.com
Dealing with the police
Some people have begun to wear masks on demonstrations to avoid police surveillance. If you're arrested, you don't have to give any details until you get to the police station. Then, you only have to give your name, address and date of birth. That is all. Do not say anything more except 'no comment' without a solicitor present. Good solicitors to ask for are Bindmans and Moss & Co. You can give a 'no comment' interview if you want to.
London - Palestine solidarity