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[UK, London, Saturday 17th May 2003]

© 2003


"Freedom For Palestine - Boycott Israel".
One of our downloadable boycott posters

Listen to the sound of the rally

"free free Palestine, long live Palestine"

"Boycott Israeli Goods - Free Palestine"

"Boycott Apartheid Israel"


Michel Abdul Massih

Michel Abdul Massih, QC, Association of the Palestinian Community.

".. we have a duty in parliament - you must get your MPs involved. You must go to them, each and every one of them, you must talk to them. First of all get knowledge about Palestine. Its one of the issues that has confused the mass media because of the mad propaganda we have all been living with. So I beg of you, each and every one of you must go and talk to his MP - it is one of your most vital duties. Bombard them with letters, with details, with anecdotes - its so vital. And whenever you confront one person just ask your MP one single question - A Palestinian born and brought up in Jerusalem, a Palestinian born and brought up in Haifa, a Palestinian born and brought up in Jaffa, a Palestinian born and brought up in Nabulas -should he or should he not have the right to live in his own country if he want it?"


End the occupation of Iraq
Freedom for Palestine

Azzam Tamimi

Azzam Tamimi, Muslim Association of Britain. Co-sponsoring Lobby of Parliament 25 June with PSC, and one of main sponsors of this rally.

"For 55 years they have asked us to wait. For 55 years our people have been rotting in the camps. The world never cared simply because we are weak. You step on us we utter no word. You kill us we die in peace, and that's the peace they want a road map for! I tell you I don't want peace, I tell you I don't want peace - I want justice - I want justice!

However is the Jews in Israel want peace, we will give them peace. Yes, the Palestinians will give them peace,,, when the Palestinians have justice!

They thought we became motion less, they though the spirit has left us, they though we have already become Red Indians. I tell them no! We are back and we have behind us millions of people around the world!"

He saluted the Neutera Karta:

"I salute you all, a special greeting to our friends from the Neutera Karta - the real peace and justice loving Jews in the world who right from the beginning they warned their fellow Jews that Zionism was evil, that Zionism was going to bring havoc, that Zionism is not Judaism, and that the Jews don't need a state on somebody else's land..."

Azzam Tamimi


Faces in the crowd - Two generations united by faith
and determination to see justice for the Palestinians

Ken Cameron

Ken Cameron, Trade Union Friends Of Palestine, leading figure in trade union movement campaigning for peace and justice for Palestinians for many years.

"... its not for us - its for the Palestinian people, just like it was for the majority of the South African people, to say what they are for, for what they want, but I just want to say one word about the so called road map of Bush. Its going no where as long as Sharon is in control...

... the so called security fence constructed on the West Bank will in effect annexe some of the largest settlements in to Israel - not back to the Palestinians, but in to Israel! Settlements such as Bet El. He [Sharon] said the other day 'if you ask me whether there will not be Jews - Jews will live there [illegal settlement of Bet El] as long as I am Prime Minister..."


Apartheid Wall - Another way to steal more land

The apartheid wall is 8 metres high and will be at least 350km long.
It will include electric fences, trenches, cameras, sensors, and security patrols
transforming the West Bank in to a series of concentration camps.

The apartheid wall which Israel is currently building in the West Bank is yet another method of carrying out Israel's policy of ethnic cleansing and stealing more Palestinian land.

Israel claims the wall is for providing security by separating the Palestinians from the Israelis. But a quick glance at the map reveals this is a lie - the wall doesn't follow the 1967 borders which separate the West Bank from what is now called Israel - instead it cuts deep in to the West Bank. The wall cages Palestinians in to small pockets of the West Bank - virtually prisons, cutting off villages and towns from their farmlands, centres of trade, education and culture.

Map of West Bank (Dark Green & Yellow).
Yellow area indicates Palestinian cantons surrounded by the wall.
Dark green
areas show parts of the West Bank outside the wall - controlled by Israel.
Solid red lines show parts of the wall already under construction (May 2003).
Blue line shown path of wall. (Light green shows portions of Palestine occupied in 1948)

The Palestinian cantons encapsulated by the wall amount to just 45% of the West Bank, and this 45% still includes some zionist settlements which remain within the cantons! The rest of the West Bank - fertile land full of olive groves, farms, vegetable fields and water resources -annexed away from the Palestinians is then primed for further zionist colonisation.

Detail map of Qalqiliya showing how its imprisoned by the wall.

The map shows the dramatic case of Qalqiliya, which will become a huge prison. The wall will encompass Qalqiliya completely, leaving one opening guarded by two checkpoints. The city, once a flourishing centre of commerce, will suffocate and die.

For hundreds of thousands of Palestinian farmers, the wall will represent a prison with no warden with no means of sustaining their families - to the point that will force many of them to simply leave their homes, and try living elsewhere as refugees. This is an intention of quiet ethnic cleansing, the sort that cannot be photographed, but is nevertheless as effective and devastating. For this reason, many have referred to the wall as a "transfer wall".

Further Information:



Hizbullah and Palestinian flags soar over the crowds


Sadat, Freedom and Justice for Samar and Jawad Campaign.

"Samar and Jawad are two Palestinian prisoners serving a sentence of 20 years for a crime they didn't commit. In 1996 Samar and Jawad were wrongfully convicted of conspiracy to bomb the Israeli embassy in Balfour House. They were the victims of a secret service cover up, of an inter-governmental cover up at the very highest levels. Both at trial and at their subsequent appeal, the government, the prosecution and the courts all colluded to deny Samar and Jawad access to the very evidence that would have absolved them and would have proved their innocence. Minister after minister, most notably our esteemed foreign secretary Jack Straw has slapped public interest immunity certificates - gagging orders on the very evidence that would have given Samar and Jawad justice. Most recently their appeal the court of appeal compounded the unfairness that Samar and Jawad suffered in their trail. The doors of the court were slammed shut on Samar and Jawad and their lawyers while the prosecution and the judges looked at the evidence which we say proves their innocence. This added insult to injury and simply confirmed the courts appeasement of the government and secret services. Samar and Jawad are only guilty of one crime - the crime of campaigning on behalf of Palestinian rights. They have been made scapegoats simply because of their ethnicity..."



Repair the world - Do not destroy it

Standing up for Justice


Marwan Bishara

Marwan Bishara, lecturer at the American University of Paris and author of Palestine/Israel: Peace or Apartheid.

"I have some good news, I have some bad news, and I have some great news. The good news folks is that never in its history has the question of Palestine been as strong as it is today! Don't let them lie to you and tell you that because of the Gulf War, because of the Sharon government, because of oppression.. that Palestine has been weakened. From the poor neighbourhood of Argentina to the poor women in Africa, to the labour unions in France, to the humanist in eastern Europe, to the liberals and freedom lovers in England and the United States never has Palestine been a symbol of justice, of humanity as much as it is today!

The bad news is that never has the evil doers been as evil as they are today, never has some cynical leaders been as cynical as they are today conspiring against the most just cause of the 20th century and perhaps the 21st century. The are cynics - double standards -lying to us everyday...

And that's where we get to the great news. People let me remind you, never in the 20th century - I challenge Tony Blair, and I challenge George Bush to name me one occupation that lasted in the 20th century. No occupier wins at any time in the 20th century - we always win - the decent people of the world always win - the occupiers have always lost -and they will lose this time..."



Israeli Crowd Control - the bullet
( Electronic Intifada T-shirt)
On days when the israeli army want to conserve tank shells
and f-16 missiles then they resort to using plain bullets

John Pilger

John Pilger. Award-winning journalist. John Pilger’s film, Palestine Is Still The Issue, is being broadcast across the world.

"First I'd like to pay tribute to George Galloway for his unrelenting defence of the Palestinian people and the Iraqi people. George was suspended from the Labour party for speaking the minds of millions of us. More over he was suspended by Blair in a desperate attempt to undermine the great democratic resistance that is now underway in this country.

The attack on Iraq and the attacks on Palestine have the same source and in our defence of the Palestinian people we should look closely at the complicity of Blair and his government.

Now labour governments have often supported the Israeli state but the Blair government has gone further than any of them. Two years ago Blair secretly gave the green light to Sharon to attack the occupied territories. This was not reported at the time. The Blair government was shown a plan for an all out Israeli invasion of the West Bank and Gaza. But the Israeli plan needed, and I an now quoting Jane's Foreign Report - the Israeli plan needed "a suicide bomb blast which causes numerous deaths and injuries, the revenge factor is crucial - it would motivate Israeli soldiers demolish Palestinians". The author of this plan was General Shaul Mofaz, the Israeli chief of staff - the same general whom Scotland Yard last year investigated for war crimes. What worried Sharon and Mofaz was a secret agreement between Yassir Arafat and Hamas that there would be no more bomb attacks in Israel. It was a highly significant unilateral truce on the part of the Palestinians. On November the 23rd 2001 Israeli agents assassinated a Hamas leader. 12 days later the inevitable bombers struck in Israel. On cue the Israeli military attacked the West Bank with unprecedented force and since then Israel has re-occupied Palestine, murdering civilians, and internationals, and journalists - any body who gets in their way.

And Blair new all about this, he knew about this criminal strategy to destroy a tenuous peace. Blair want us to believe he is different from Bush. He isn't - both are criminals. Blair was no different from Bush on Iraq and he is no different from Bush on Palestine.

The Blair government has sold to Israel ammunition, bombs, missiles, rockets and other military equipment. It secretly supplied the Sharon regime with the means of making chemical weapons of mass destruction. Its not all one way - many of the cluster bombs used by the RAF against Iraq were made in Israel.

I suggest to all of you that the target for your anger and resistance should be right here in Whitehall and in Downing Street.

Face hidden among the banners

Its the same as the criminal attack on Iraq - our enemy, the enemy of peaceful solution, the enemy of human rights, the enemy of justice is close to home. Just as the attacks this week in Saudi Arabia were almost certainly the direct result of the Anglo-American attack on Iraq, so the bombings in Israel are a direct result of the complicity of Blair and Bush to deny the Palestinian people the justice and nationhood that is 55 years over due.

Now we are getting headlines that say "roadmap". Bush's so called roadmap is another dead end that aims to exactly what the Oslo process tried to so - legitimise Israel's strangulation of Palestine and create apartheid South Africa in the Middle-East. This must be exposed for what it is. And it can only be exposed when journalists through off the intimidation that comes with reporting anything to do with Israel. For too long this intimidation has prevented the truth about Palestine from becoming news in this country. Television viewers are rarely told that the Palestinians are the victims of an illegal military occupation, they are seldom told that Palestinians have made compromise after compromise. They are seldom told Sharon is an indicted war criminal who rivals Saddaam Hussein in the deaths and misery he has caused such as the 20,000 who died in Israel's criminal invasion of Lebanon. The intimidation works everyday against the BBC with a call from the Israeli embassy. It works against any journalist who rights the truth, often with a flood of abusive emails and death threats. chats what I received following the showing of my documentary last year. But like any intimidation, it must not be allowed to succeed. Its time we journalists, all of us, stood up against this and told the truth about Palestine. Its time we changed the media language and describe the Israeli killers of children as terrorists!

Its time we stopped echoing the lies of Blair and Bush and Powell about their phoney peace process. Its time we stopped rewarding western governments guilty of great crimes as benevolent which they are not. Its time we gave the same humanity to Palestinians that we gave to the victims of September the 11th.

Our own colleges like the camera man James Miller are being terrorised and murdered for doing our job honestly. How many more James Millers must die before we realise that we [journalists and broadcasters] like the Palestinians are now targets for the gang in Tel Aviv

Blair and Bush fear the truth about Palestine just as they feared us telling the truth about their criminal attack on Iraq. That's why they bombed Al-Jezeera, that's why they killed 19 journalists during the Iraq war. I say to my colleagues in the media we must call their bluff, we must tell the truth about Palestine, about the incredible struggle of the Palestinian people which is truly heroic. And please remember all of you here today, like the 2 million people who filled London on February the 15th, you are no longer demonstrators and protesters - you are now the democratic opposition in Britain and I salute you."

John Pilger



Sharon Devouring Palestine

Sharon Devouring Palestine

Francisco Jose de Goya's original painting of
"Saturn Devouring His Children",
painted in 1819-23 and located in the Prado in Madrid.
The placard shows Goya's famous painting of "Saturn Devouring His Children". This refers to a political cartoon by Dave Brown in which Sharon plays the devouring Saturn, that appeared in the Independent newspaper on 27 January 2003.

In the cartoon, Sharon says: "What's wrong? Have you never seen a politician kissing a baby?" The background shows Apache attack helicopters sending missiles from the cockpit with the message "Vote Likud."

This cartoon refers to the Israeli attack on Gaza City on Sunday, 26 January 2003, when 50 israeli tanks backed by helicopter gunships invaded Gaza City slaughtering 12 Palestinians - all this just three days before the general election which saw the Israelis re-elect a war criminal to power.

The Israeli embassy with its pack of dogs - the zionist lobby groups - attacked the cartoon calling it - yes you guessed it - anti-Semetic. Apparently any negative depiction of Sharon is an attack on all Jews and hence by definition anti-Semetic!



The caption reads "Another Victim Of Islamaphobia",
the photo shows a murdered Muslim with his widow weeping over his body.
The photo was probably taken in Palestine, but it could have just as easily been taken in
Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Lebanon, Albania, Bosnia, Kashmir, Gujarat...
such is the persecution today of Muslims in the world.

Ismail Patel


Ismail Patel, Friends of Al-Aqsa, an organisation concerned with upholding the human rights of the Palestinians and the defence of the al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

"... We are not asking for the world, we simply ask for the people of the Holy Land, whether they are Christians, whether they are Jews or Muslims to live in peace, but not only in peace, peace with justice and justice is what we want."

"Prosecute Bush Sharon - State Terrorists"



Palestinian flag knitted into a shawl - that's a true supporter!

Members of the Neturei Karta

Message from the Neturei Karta read out by Ismail Patel.

"... the Torah Jewry condemns the zionist oppression and subjugation of the innocent people, and the brutal theft of the Palestinian land.

The Torah Jewry declares the zionists who have discarded God and his Torah have no right to speak in the name of the world wide Jewry true Jews have never recognised the state of Zionists and never will...we firmly believe that revolt against God, evil oppression of innocent people will never succeed, the zionist entity can not endure.

We hope and pray for a quick and peaceful dismantling of the zionist state. We hope to live together in peace in the Holy Land under a Palestinian rulership for the entire land."

"BBC - Government weapon of mass deception"



The centre of London a sea of Palestinian flags

Richard Kuper

Richard Kuper, Jews for Justice for Palestinians - a network of Jews in Britain, formed in February 2002, who oppose Israeli policies that undermine the livelihoods, human, civil and political rights of the Palestinian people.

"...As Jews we are all too aware of how Israeli actions are often presented as being done on behalf of all Jews worldwide, and how the the holocaust is used as a moral shield to dismiss any criticism of Israel as automatically anti-Semitic. It is precisely because we remember the holocaust that Jews in 'Jews for justice for Palestinians' reject this and insist that Israel be judged by the same criteria as any other state!..."



Muslim and non-Muslim united against zionism

Nazla Dowson-Zeidan

Nazla Dowson-Zeidan, Youth Action for Palestine.

"In 'Youth Action for Palestine' we are particularly concerned about human rights of children - whom don't have the rights we take for granted in England. For example education - they cant go to school - their schools are being closed and there are curfews, medical care, leisure, even the right to protest...they cant even take for granted the most basic of human right - the right to life ... I'm going to read out a list of names of Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces in just one month..."



Che Guevara in a Palestinian Scarf -
The Palestinian cause has become a symbol
of all oppressed people in the world

Tony Benn

Tony Benn, a former Labour MP and veteran campaigner against war and for peace and justice.

"I want to begin by talking about the importance of this meeting and the people who come to it because this is part of a very big popular movement for peace and justice around the world, it is part of the same movement that had these massive demonstrations against the war in Iraq and I'm sure many of you were there. Its is a movement that has brought Muslims and Christians and Jews together in Britain and that is a very important achievement and it is a demonstration, a meeting which I hope is videoed, and filmed, and shown in Palestine so they know what support there is for their cause. And don't think public meetings are about the speakers - they are always about the people who come...

This is a demand for the end of the occupation, for the end of the ethnic cleansing, for an end of the violence, for an end of all the things the Palestinians have suffered for over half a century. But I think we know, and John Pilger made the point very clearly, that Sharon and the Israeli government would not have been able to do what they have done if they had not had the full support of the United States of America - that is what it is about. And not only America has armed Sharon and funded the Israelis and allowed them to prosecute this war but also the Israelis have played a large part in formulating the policy of the American government. And we know now not only was Sharon passionately committed to the war against Iraq but now Sharon wants the war extended to Syria and to Iran. And that is the problem we face as well as the problem facing the Palestinians.

We also know that President Bush is very close to the Prime Minister. And so the problem is not only in Jerusalem and in Washington, but its is in London as well.

And I must tell you I believe that the 'road map' is a fraud. I think that the 'road map' or the 'peace process' is a little public relations device that is announced when ever they want another war. Every time that the wars are planned they say 'Oh we better have a road map or a peace process between Israel and the Palestinians And we ought to be demanding not that when Bush and Sharon agree a Palestinian state will be set up in five years - there should be a Palestinian state NOW!....

Remember what we are doing today is a part of of a much bigger struggle even than the Palestinian struggle. Over many many centuries empires have been formed and founded in order to oppress other people for the benefit of those that control the empire. My God, look at Britain - when I was born we occupied 20% of the population of the world and now we lecture people on democracy and human rights. No democracy and human rights when the British ran the empire!..."

Tony Benn addressing the crowds at Trafalgar Square


Faces in the crowd


Daoud Abdullah

Daoud Abdullah, Palestinian Return Centre, focusing on right of Palestinian refugees to return.

"We remind you on this occasion that the fact that one in every four refugees in the world today is a Palestinian is not an accident of history, it is not as a result of a natural disaster that the majority of the refugees in the world today are Palestinians It is the result of the undoing of human beings, its a group of people who got together in certain capitals around the world who planned this, and created this problem! And it is among them the British labour party in 1944 adopted as its slogan in its national convention 'Let the Palestinians go out and let the Jews go in' and so they are responsible also for this problem.

We say therefore that this problem can be solved not be divine intervention but it has to be solved, it can be solved and it must be solved by human action. It must be solved by the implementation of the law and a respect for human rights, it must be solved not in the way of the 'road map' which does not mention on one occasion the words 'international law'. You go back home and read the document - you will not see the words 'international law' mentioned in the road map, you will not see the words 'human rights' mentioned in the road map. And it does not mention these four words because it wants to legitimise the expulsion of the Palestinian people.

"The Road Map to piss taking leads to hell".

Expulsion we say is the other side of the same coin as the denial of the right of return. They are the two sides of the same coin and they serve the same function - that is ethnic cleansing. Ethnic cleansing we say is a crime, a crime against humanity and it is punishable under law. Those who encourage the denial of the right of return of the Palestinian people, they are encouraging ethnic cleansing and their place is in the Hague.

We say finally that the right of return is not negotiable - it is not negotiable in principle. What is negotiable is the way to implement the right of return.

The Palestinian people as long as they are exiled from their land will keep knocking at your doors, they will keep marching in your streets, because they refuse to be the Red Indians of the middle-east!"




Free Palestine


Corin Redgrave

Corin Redgrave, actor who has been outspoken in his support for the Palestinian people.

"On March the 18th members of Parliament, with 100 and something honourable exceptions, voted for a resolution authorising war on Iraq. A resolution, every world of which was a lie. As we now know the road to war with Iraq was paved with lies, fabricated by the new super agency the 'office of special plans' which claims to prove there was an ongoing programme of weapons of mass destruction and that Saddam Hussain has links with Al-Qaida. There were no weapons of mass destruction so the war was illegal, and those who made the war were guilty of criminal deception.

Forgive me for starting with that war and that occupation - its remind myself and all of us that behind that occupation stands the Israeli occupation of the west bank and Gaza where international law is broken everyday and has been for the past 35 years. An occupation which makes peace impossible and which spawns terrorism. Surely the relationship between terrorism and illegal occupation by force on another peoples land is plain for all to see. We were reminded of it yesterday in Morocco and two days ago in Riyadh.

What the Al-Aqsa Intifada has done is to elevate the cause of the Palestinians to the great moral cause of our time, of the 21st century. There is now hardy a college or a school or a village in this country where the majority does not support that cause.

A friend of mine just retired to Bingley in West Yorkshire writes to me yesterday:

'I wear a Free Palestine badge and have been taken aback by the number of strangers who have stopped me and commented favourably'.

We are the majority and as a majority we now know we came close, very close, to preventing Blairs government from making war on Iraq. As a majority supporting the Palestinians we can do better. We must build branches of the Palestinian solidarity campaign until we are as vocal and as visible as we were in February an March.

The road to peace lies through the enforcement of our obligations to the Palestinians under international law, through making Israel comply with international law - through ending the occupation."



Sea of Palestinian flags

"Enough of Bush & Co!
Let's Share The World Resources"


Hassan Al-Sheik

Hassan Al-Sheik, General Union of Palestinian Students.He gives a summary of the history of the Nakba:

"Al Nakba - May 15 1948, will never be forgotten by the Palestinian people as they were to witness the horrors and flight from their homeland. The world was to witness the creation of the state of Israel which established itself on the homes and land of the Palestinian people, leading to the [creation] of over 750,000 refugees..."



Freedom for Palestinian

Free Palestine


Betty Hunter

Betty Hunter, General Secretary of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. In her closing message she thanked everyone and saluted Walter Sisulu, the ANC leader who just passed away.

"... and today we should salute another fighter for freedom Walter Sisulu who is being buried today - we honour him and salute him..."

Even the rain didn't disrupt the rally



Face in the crowd




[Previous Part]

Speeches: Afif Safieh (Palestinian General Delegate to the UK), Josie Sandercock (International Solidarity Movement), Jeremy Corbyn (MP), Richard Burton (MP), Caroline Lucas (Green Party MEP), Abe Hayeem (Just Peace UK), Juliet Stevenson (actor), Sophie Hurndall (sister of Tom Hurndall), Andrew Murray (Stop the War Coalition), George Galloway (MP), Dr Mustafa Barghouti (Health, Development Centre, Ramallah), Rev. Dr. Michael Prior (Christian Priest, St Mary’s College), Anita Halpin (National Union of Journalists), Paul Mackney (NATFHE).

Special Features: Voice Of The People (interviews), Lord Levy (Israli Occupation - England Today), Sharon - Ethnic Cleanser, Art Against The Occupation, Boycott Israel.

And more photos from the rally