At 12 o'clock we set up our stall to begin our protest to highlight Marks and Spencer's support for a brutal apartheid state called Israel and express our solidarity with the Palestinian fightback. Immediately the stall and our protesters were swarmed by Zionist thugs hurling racist abuse and attempting to physically attack the picket. Shouting things about "muslim terrorism" and abusing the tragedy of the recent Beslan school massacre for their own racist ends- to attack arab supporters of Palestine. At one point a black comrade was singled out for verbal intimidation for "hiding behind his skin colour". All of this was tame compared to the dispicable targetting of an anti-Zionist jew who is a regular on the picket. This showed the down-right antisemitism of the pro-Israel thugs who shouted our jewish comrade's name repeatedly and hounded and threatened him, his family and his associates in the jewish community.
Showing the true nature of "police impartiality", our protest was cordoned in such a way that allowed the fascists to literally surround us. Our comrades were threatened with arrest several times for attempting to pass leaflets to passers by on the outside. More than one officer openly engaged in chatting and laughing with the Zionists. The fascists were given full reign to use their megaphone and cameras while ours were supressed; we were threatened with the public order act while they recieved none.
The M&S picket was attacked like this in July and, with help from Manchester Social Forum, Iraq Solidarity Campaign and individuals from Palestine Solidarity Campaign and many more, the numbers grew drastically as a result- helping us to overcome and, in some way, defeat the fascist threat. However this support died down and numbers dropped as the threat was percieved to have gone away. After this Saturday's drama this has shown not to be the case.
We are extremely grateful to all groups and individuals that have supported the picket in times of turbulence. However the threats will never fully subside, more attacks will come from all the sources we have seen so far- the state, its Councils and police, Zionists and other fascists, the media and corporations like M&S.
Therefore we call on all democratically-minded people, all activists, 'lefties', anti-imperialists and genuine supporters of the right to protest, to join and actively support us in defeating the threats that we all face. This is not just about one protest. The future of any movement on the streets depends on the left's ability to overcome sectarianism and unite with all who are actively engaged in a just struggle such as this.
So friends, comrades, well wishers...
SUPPORT THE PICKET OF MARKS AND SPENCER, THIS SATURDAY 18TH SEPTEMBER ON MARKET STREET, MANCHESTER. THE BIGGER THE TURNOUT, THE BETTER TO SHOW OUR ENEMIES THAT WE WILL NOT BE DEFEATED!
DEFEND THE RIGHT TO PROTEST!
VICTORY TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE!
LB, Victory To The Intifada Group, Manchester.
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