Six months ago, the people of Gaza were subject to almost a month’s worth of brutal and non-stop unprovoked attacks by air, sea and land.
This post pays tribute to them, and reminds the world that silence is not an option.
Six months ago, the streets of London were filled with protestors – marching across the city weekly, and laying siege to the Israeli embassy on a daily basis (and occasionally to the Egyptian embassy too).
British students played a key role in the protests, occupying buildings at 34 universities in what one newspaper called “the biggest student revolt for 20 years”. This was the scene at my intellectual homeland, Soas:
They wanted (and at Soas, succeeded) in calling for an end to universities’ links to the British Army, arms manufacturers and for more aid to be sent to Gaza.
The Palestinian flag was raised high – over universities, in streets, and on a lamppost directly in front of the Israeli embassy – that gave them a nice view from their window.
Thousands of people were at the weekly demonstration in Trafalgar Square, in the heart of London, to hear people like Tony Benn, George Galloway and Tariq Ali, denounce the attacks in the strongest terms, and to send a message to the world that the British people would not be silent.
And they attracted the whole range of British society.
And now, even though Trafalgar Square and Soas fall silent, we have got to remember that Israel must not be allowed to get away with the 2009 war. We may be silent, be we have not forgotten, and we will never forgive.