Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

Hundreds of people gathered in solidarity with Palestinians in Glasgow city centre to demand an urgent ceasefire amid the Gaza conflict.

In George Square, protesters gathered for a demonstration hosted by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, as well as other pro-Palestine pressure groups.

Chants of “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” were heard and various keynote speakers gave their thoughts on the ongoing crisis.

Alison Thewliss, SNP MP for Glasgow Central, gave an impassioned speech to onlookers, stating the conflict is not in the name of the people of Glasgow. She said: “I want you to know that I have never had so many emails as I’ve had over these past two weeks.

“People in Glasgow demanding a ceasefire, people in Glasgow demanding the end to this awful, awful, appalling situation – the deaths of babies and children and mothers who just happened to be in the wrong place as missiles rained down upon them.

“I want to tell you how shocked I was that yesterday at the United Nations there was a resolution on the protection of civilians and upholding of legal and humanitarian obligations.

“The very, very basics of international law on which we all depend. But what did Britain do in our name? They abstained. Not in our name, Glasgow. Not in our name.”

Also speaking was Ivan McKee, SNP MSP for Glasgow Provan. The MSP told protesters: “I don’t need to tell you what we’re seeing on our TV screens, hearing on the radio and reading about in our newspapers – the absolute humanitarian crisis that’s unfolding in Gaza, and it’s getting worse.

“No food, no water, no medicine, no electricity, now no communications, hospitals being bombed – absolutely shocking, unacceptable.”

He added: “The reality of this is politicians need to stand up and come out and make their voices heard.

“You need to contact your politicians and make them know what you think about this.

“Get your friends and family to do the same, because as Alison said, politicians respond when they hear that their voters are taking this seriously and it’s the most important thing that there is.”

Demonstrators then held a march through the streets of Glasgow city centre, carrying banners and placards and waving Palestinian flags.

The protest consisted of people from many races, religions and backgrounds, who shouted pro-Palestine chants and criticised the Israeli government for its treatment of the Palestinian people.

There was a police presence and traffic, at times, came to a standstill while the protesters marched through the streets.

It was one of many protests across Scotland, with other demonstrations held at the same time in Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen, Greenock, Forres and Stirling.

There were also demonstrations south of the border, including in London.

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