'Free Palestine' demonstration, London 21 May 2005
by Stephen Hewitt
On Saturday 21 May 2005 a demonstration organised by Palestinian Solidarity Campaign marched from Embankment to Trafalgar Square where there were some public speeches.
The banner in Trafalgar Square read "Free Palestine - end Israeli occupation" and the identically-titled flyer in my possession also informs us that this demonstration was organised by Palestinian Solidarity Campaign and supported by Muslim Association of Britain, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Stop the War Coalition, Friends of Al Aqsa and War on Want.
The coach from Birmingham on which I travelled was almost full. In comparison with the STWC marches, this one was evidently small, as this photograph of Trafalgar Square shows (c.f. 19 March 2005) However this was taken some time after the march had arrived in Trafalgar Square (and about one and a half hours after the march had been scheduled to leave Embankment - namely 1pm BST) , so there may have been more people in the square earlier. In comparison with the demonstration of 19 March, the weather was less kind, being windy and colder and with intermittent rain.
According to the flyer the rally in Trafalgar Square was scheduled to include these speakers from Palestine: Sharif Omar, Amneh Badran and Afif Safieh. I cannot confirm who actually spoke or what they said except that I heard the voices of Stewart Hemsley from Cambridge, George Galloway, and Tony Benn. There was a long and detailed speech by a woman who spoke about the AUT and an academic boycott. Cambridge was mentioned repeatedly in this connection.
- Photos of demonstration for Palestine, London, 2006Saturday 20 May 2006, Embankment to Trafalgar Square (7 photographs)