Spirit of the che..
Well the demonstrations are over according to the police estimate over 1000 pro-Palestinians marched in Manchester yesterday, reports say 20’000 in London and I don’t know how many in Scotland. The Manchester demonstration was greeted by a Zionist demonstration of about 30 slightly worrying individuals who went on to film demonstrators in a way I’ve only previously seen by BNP thugs.
Most importantly though it was on of the most impassioned demo’s I’ve seen in a long time due to the large numbers from the General Union of Palestinian Students. Large numbers also marched from the Stop the War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity campaign, Respect, University of Manchester and the Palestine Forum (an organisation connected to the Mosques.) As one speaker commented their were more Jewish people on our march then the Zionist counter demo showing the moral bankruptcy of the Zionist movement which once exercised more or less total hegemony in the Jewish community.
Increased awareness of issues in the Middle East from resistance to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has created far greater popular awareness of Israel’s crimes. However much propaganda the UK media throws down painting the invasion of Lebanon as at worst a war against “mad mullahs” (copy right the Sun) or as a “plague on both your houses” from the liberal press it doesn’t wash. The Zionist movement is so disconnected from society in general the mass of pro-Israeli coverage simply doesn’t connect with what is in peoples heads – people, as during the attack on Iraq, can see through the bullshit. This is doubly true for people coming out of education whose entire political awareness has been shaped by western lies and wars in the Middle East.
The strength of the protests was that it brought back into contact the genuine but disconnected forces doing solidarity and campaigning work for Palestine. Popular opinion is consistently moving in our direction but our networks are patching and disconnected making it difficult for us to carry the arguments in wider society effectively. Especially when the Zionists are considerably better organised (and in the student world better funded.) The path from here must lead through the 23rd of September in Manchester but it must also contain the pulling together of our movement for a Free Palestine with a series of jointly called meetings vigils and demos. Without a united movement we will be unable to challenge UK support for Israel’s mass murder in Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank.