2017 marks the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, which pledged support from Britain for a Jewish national home in Palestine.
Pro-Palestinian organizations in the UK called for a demonstration to be the centrepiece of a wider series of actions to mark centenary of the Balfour Declaration and highlighting widespread and systematic rights violations that have been committed by the Israeli state as a result. This year also marks 50 years since the start of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Jerusalem, and 10 years since the siege on Gaza began.
The demonstration is organised and supported by PSC, Stop the War, Friends of Al Aqsa, Palestine Forum in Britain, Muslim Association of Britain, National Education Union, National Union of Teachers, Unite the Union, Unison, GMB, ASLEF, FBU, RMT, UCU, PCS, CWU, Kairos UK, Friends of Sabeel UK, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions UK, and Amos Trust.
Speakers at the demonstration will include John Pilger, Dr Mustafa Barghouti, Andy Slaughter MP, Mick Whelan (General Secretary ASLEF,) Gail Cartmail (TUC,) Matt Wrack (General Secretary, FBU,) Margaret McKee (President, Unison,) Senator Paul Gavan (Sinn Fein,) Leanne Mohamad, ReemKelani, Philipa Harvey (NEU/NUT Section,) DaoudAbdalah (BMI,) AjmalMasrour, Prof Manuel Hassassian (Palestinian Ambassador to the UK,) Tariq Ali, Salma Yacoub, Dave Randall.
PSC Director Ben Jamal condemns inaction by the British government and calls on them to fulfil their responsibilities towards the Palestinian people.
“The centenary of the Balfour Declaration reminds us of Britain’s historic complicity in establishing a process that has led to the dispossession of the Palestinian people. I urge the public to join us on November 4th in calling for Britain to recognise its complicity as well as its responsibilities now, as a key member of the international community, to place meaningful pressure on Israel to end the Occupation, abide by international law and cease its violations of the human rights of Palestinians.”
The demonstration will start at 12 noon at Speakers’ Corner, Hyde Park, London on November 4th .
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign is the largest UK civil society organisation dedicated to securing Palestinian human rights established in 1982. With more than sixty branches across the country, we campaign against Israel’s flouting of international law, the continued military occupation of Palestine, and systematic discrimination against Palestinians. We work to build awareness amongst politicians and the public of the continual injustices and advocate for peaceful and just solutions that respect the rights and dignity of Palestinians and Israelis.
For his part, Zaher Birawi, the chair of Europal Forum, said that Europal seeks to coordinate and mobilise the efforts of the various Palestinian and solidarity groups in Britain to create political pressure on the government to compel it in order to hear the demands of the Palestinian people and to take fair and balanced stances on the Palestinian cause. Britain is called upon to refrain from celebrating the Balfour anniversary as it conveys a provocative message not only to the Palestinians, but to the millions of Britons who support Palestine.
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