Al-Nakba 2010 - We Will Not Forget - London Protest
Photo report, inminds 16 May 2010
15 May marks the anniversary of Al-Nakba - the 1948 expulsion of Palestinians from their land by Zionist colonists for the creation of Israel. The date was commemorated in London with a demonstration outside the Prime Ministers residence in Downing Street.
The man in the background holds a placard which reads "Nakba 2010 We will not forget" recalling the catastrophic loss of Palestine over 60 years ago, and all the slaughter, destruction of over 500 Palestinian towns and villages, and ethnic cleansing that went with it to force over 700,000 Palestinian people to flee from their homes resulting in the largest ongoing refugee crisis in the world. The woman in the foreground holds a postcard with the words "Remember Gaza 2009", recalling the slaughter inflected on the Palestinians just recently in January 2009 when Gaza was pulverized by the Israeli air-force, army, and navy.
But the Palestinians are more than just memories, they are a people, a nation that deserves to live, to take its place in dignity amongst the other nations of the world. The question that begs answer, is when will the world act on these memories to bring justice to the Palestinians, to 'Free Palestine' as the placard she holds in her other hand reads. Will our generation realise this goal or will we be asking our children to also not forget?
Nakba 2010 - We will not forget
People on Parliament Street protesting opposite Downing Street to commemorate Al-Nakba
Downing Street, visible through the placards is sealed of by a high fence. Protesters are forced to stay in their pen on the other side of the street, well away from the Prime Minister's abode at 10 Downing Street.
Protesters demand 'End the Siege on Gaza', 'Free Palestine'
Young boy demands "Stop your crimes in Gaza and Jerusalem"
End the criminal siege on Gaza
Rabbis of the Neturei Karta
"Judaism rejects the Zionist State
and condemns its criminal siege & occupation"
Rabbis of the Neturei Karta
"Dismantling of the Zionist State = End of Bloodshed
please God - Speedily & Peacefully"
"Justice for Palestine"
A womans list of reasonable demands culminating in 'human rights for all'.
"Hands of Al-Aqsa"
Delegation to hand protest letter to 10 Downing Street, includes leaders from PSC, Stop the War Coalition, and the British Muslim Initiative, Baroness Jenny Tong, Alexi Sayle and Lauren Booth.
Alexi Sayle, comedian and writer,
reads out the letter to be presented to the new Prime Minister and his Lib-Dem coalition partner, reminding them of the pre-election promises of the Lib-Dems including an arms embargo on Israel.
The Nakba Key was presented to 10 Downing Street with the letter.
The key symbolises the house keys many Palestinians, who were ethnically cleansed from their homes in 1948, still hold on to, passing it on from generation to generation, as a symbol of resilience and determination for their right of return to their homes.
The protesters delegation led by Baroness Jenny Tonge entering Downing Street (left)
Security at Downing Street(right), the door to No 12 Downing Street is visible in the distance behind the armed policeman (number 10 is to the right - the black building)
Boy follows victory symbol on his placard - Freedom for Palestine
I love Palestine
We will not forget you Gaza
Jews for justice for Palestinians - Break the siege
"1763 in the Ohio river valley you got Lord Jeffrey Amherst committing to written order an instruction to his subordinate Henry Bouquet, having been defeated by Pontiac Ottawa confederacy in the field. The order essentially says that they have been defeated militarily and is therefore necessary for Amherst forces to request a peace, to sue for peace from Pontiacs people. He instructs Bouquet to convene a parlay with the Indian leadership for that purpose. And as is the custom, as is common courtesy among native populations as was known to the Brits at that time, it would be necessary for those who requested the council to give gifts to those requested to attend. Make those gifts, Amherst says, items taken from a smallpox infirmary in order, I'm going to quote directly now, this isn't a paraphrase: 'in order that we may extirpate this execrable race'. Now key is on this last word, had he said that we might eradicate the opposing combatants, their military capacity, their warriors.. what ever term he wanted to use, it would have been biological warefare. But he didn't say anything about that, he said the 'race'. His intent was to use biological means, to use disease, quite explicitly so, to eradicate an entire population group. And Bouquet was also kind enough to commit to writing in his response the next day, I have done as instructed, dispersing three blankets, two handkerchiefs and sundry other items, hopefully, he says, they will have the desired result. They did.. the lowest estimate of the number of people who died of smallpox as a result of that little gesture of friendship and goodwill is a 100,000!"