Humanity Voice - Parisians march in support of Gaza

 

 

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  Parisians march in support of Gaza
Paris, Humanityvoice - 2009-01-25

Protesters demonstrate against the BBC's refusal to broadcast a Gaza Emergency Appeal

Thousands of demonstrators have marched in Paris for a fourth straight weekend to show their support for Palestinians, following Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip.

The march towards the presidential Elysee Palace on Saturday drew some 20,000 people according to organisers and 9,500 according to police.

A heavy police presence surrounded the rally, called by the National Collective for a Just and Durable Peace to pressure France's government.

The marchers carried Palestinian flags, chanted "resistance, resistance" and waved banners like "Israel assassin" and Shame on Israel written in English.

Police momentarily blocked the march as it reached the lawns of Les Invalides.

Thousands of marchers have poured onto Paris' streets on each of the last four Saturdays in response to the Israeli offensive on Gaza that began on December 27.

Israel announced a cease-fire on January 17, and Hamas followed suit the next day.

UK protests

In London, around 400 people gathered for a rally outside British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) offices to protest the media giants refusal to broadcast a charity appeal to raise emergency funds for people in Gaza.

The crowd was addressed by speakers including Tony Benn, a former Labour cabinet minister, and George Galloway, an MP, who accused the BBC of bias against the Palestinians.

The protesters chanted "BBC, shame on you" and a few threw shoes at the BBC office.

The numbers later swelled to at least 5,000 for a march through central London.

The Stop The War Coalition, which organised the march, estimates that the ban on broadcasting the appeal could cost up to $14 million in donations.

The group had organised big rallies opposed to the violence in Gaza in London over the past few weekends.

Around 5,000 people also took to the streets of Birmingham, Britain's second biggest city, for a pro-Palestinian demonstration, while around 100 Cambridge University students have occupied the law faculty there in protest at Israel's attacks on Gaza.

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