New Reports on Sundays protests at bottom of the page
Demonstrators hurl shoes at Downing Street in day of global protest against Israeli attacks
January 3 2009
Demonstrators demanding an end to Israeli airstrikes on Gaza hurled their shoes at the gates of Downing Street today during a wave of global protests.
Around 12,000 people took to the streets of the London, including singer Annie Lennox, former model Bianca Jagger and former mayor Ken Livingstone.
Elsewhere in Britain, 2,000 demonstrators marched through Manchester and 500 braved the cold in Edinburgh.
London: 1,000 pairs of shoes litter the protest route near Downing Street
Paris held the world’s biggest protest, with 25,000 people showing up to condemn the Israeli offensive, which has killed at least 436 Palestinians since December 27th.
The death toll includes 75 children, according to Gaza medics. And almost 2,300 people have been wounded inside the territory.
Four Israelis have been killed by rocket attacks by Hamas, Islamist militants who took over Gaza three years ago.
In Britain, many people were angry at Gordon Brown refusal to condemn Israel’s attacks.
Hundreds of protesters threw shoes at the iron gates of Downing Street residence, in the spirit of an Iraqi journalist who hurled his footware President George Bush with his shoes last year.
Crowds: at least 12,000 people marched up Whitehall
Around 1,000 pairs littered the streets outside Number 10 with demonstrating singing: ‘Shame on you, have my shoe.’
Zac Sommer, an 18-year-old British-Palestinian student from Essex, said: ‘Britain is quick to condemn Robert Mugabe, but where is the condemnation of Israel? Israel is killing hundreds of people.’
Also outside Downing Street, a firework exploded yards from the gates.
The Metropolitan Police later said they had been forced to contain one group of around 5,000 protesters who left the agreed route between protest between Embankment and Trafalgar Square to the march to head for the Israeli Embassy in Kensington.
Many clashed with officers wearing riot hear and armed with truncheons and gas canisters.
Clash: Riot police deal with protesters trying to raid the Israeli Embassy in London
Focus point: Around 5,000 people went to the embassy after the march
The demonstrators were kept at a distance of about 20 yards from the entrance of the Embassy but several hurdled the barriers and attempted to make for the entrance.
The atmosphere as darkness fell was noticeably more heated, vocal, and aggressive than the earlier march through central London.
The demonstration in the capital was the biggest of at least 18 organised across the country.
Other rallies were taking place in Glasgow, Exeter, Bristol, Liverpool, Norwich, Hull, Tunbridge Wells, Leeds, Newcastle, Swansea, York, Caernarfon, Bradford and Sheffield.
Anger: Protesters gather in Trafalgar Square at the end of the march
Support: Annie Lennox, centre, is flanked by George Galloway and Bianca Jagger
Condemnation: Musician Brian Eno speaks out against the Israeli attacks
Former model Bianca Jagger and singer Lennox have backed the protests, calling on American president-elect Barack Obama to speak up against the bombardment.
Speaking at a press conference in central London, Ms Jagger said: ‘I would like to make an appeal to president-elect Obama to speak up.
‘People throughout the world were hopeful when he was elected and we must appeal to him to ask for the immediate cessation of the bombardment of the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.’
Lennox spoke of her shock at watching scenes of the bombing on television.
She said: ‘A few days after Christmas I came downstairs, put the television on, and saw smoke pyres coming from buildings and I was shocked to the core because I was thinking as a mother and as a human being.
Madrid: Protesters burn an Israeli flag in the Spanish capital
Paris: Demonstrators burned cars after a march by 25,000 people
Berlin: Some 7000 Palestinian supporters outside the city’s cathedral
‘How was this going to be the solution to peace?’
She said the intervention from Bush blaming Hamas for starting the violence, had not helped the situation.
‘The problem is, from my perspective, they are pouring petrol onto the fire,’ she said.
‘They have to sit down. This is a small window of opportunity just before things kick off.
‘For every one person killed in Gaza, they are creating 100 suicide bombers. It’s not just about Gaza, it’s about all of us.’
Liberal Democrat Sarah Teather said Israel’s military response to the firing of Hamas rockets had been ‘disproportionate’.
Amsterdam: A man holds up a blood smeared doll
Milan: Demonstrators carry a simulated body of a Palestinian
‘Anyway, what Israel is doing is counter-productive. No terrorist organisation has ever been bombed into submission,’ the Liberal Democrat MP said.
Police said 8,000 people demonstrated in the central French city of Lyon, 3,000 people protested in the southern city of Nice and 3,800 in Mulhouse in the east.
Two people were arrested as more than 1,000 marched through Amsterdam, condemning the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza and calling for a boycott of Israeli goods, police said.
Hundreds protested in Madrid, carrying signs saying ‘This is not a war but a genocide’.
More than 2,000 people also demonstrated in the Austrian city of Salzburg.
Athens: A woman walks in front of burning barricades during riots after a rally
Photos: ‘Britain – Gaza Siege Demoonstation’
By James Wray
January 3, 2009,
Thousands in Europe Protest Gaza Offensive
January 3 2008
LONDON—Thousands of chanting, banner-waving demonstrators marched in cities across Europe on Saturday to demand a halt to Israeli bombing in the Gaza Strip.
Protests were held in Britain, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain as the Israeli offensive entered its second week.
Israeli Arabs held a protest march and Kuwaitis also took to the streets, a day after bigger Middle East rallies.
In Paris, police said more than 20,000 demonstrators, many wearing Palestinian keffiyeh headscarves, marched through the city centre chanting slogans like “Israel murderer!” and waving banners demanding an end to the air attacks.
Similar protests were planned in some 30 other towns.
London police said more than 10,000 people staged a noisy march and rally to urge an end to an Israeli offensive against Hamas militants that has killed at least 435 Palestinians.
In many European cities people waved shoes—recalling the action of an Iraqi journalist who hurled footwear at U.S. President George W. Bush in Baghdad last month in a symbolic insult.
British demonstrators threw dozens of shoes into the street as they passed the gated entrance to Downing Street, where Prime Minister Gordon Brown lives, and shouted angrily at a line of 40 police officers on guard there.
“Come to get your shoes Gordon,” one woman shouted as other marchers directed chants of “Shame on you” at Brown.
A spokesman said Brown had spoken again to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Saturday and was pressing hard for an immediate ceasefire.
Leading the march were singer Annie Lennox, politicians Tony Benn and George Galloway and comic Alexei Sayle. Demonstrators carried Palestinian flags and placards with slogans such as “End the siege on Gaza” and “Stop the massacre”.
Israel says rocket attacks from Gaza by Hamas Islamists must stop before it halts operations, but the attacks continued on Saturday. Four Israelis have been killed by Hamas rockets since the offensive began.
Anger at Western Reaction
Paul Mukerji, 42, from Birmingham, acknowledged Israel had security reasons but called its action disproportionate.
“The best way for peace for Palestinians and Israelis is to end the occupation,” said Mukerji, who said he had spent six months working with Jewish and Palestinian peace groups.
Ali Saeed, 24, from Luton, said Western governments had failed to condemn Israel’s actions.
“What’s going on in Gaza is not right … It’s not a coincidence that it’s going on Iraq, in Chechnya, in Kashmir. It’s just about going on everywhere. It’s almost a direct insult to every single Muslim,” he said.
Protests were scheduled in a score of other British cities.
Greek police said they fired teargas at protesters outside the Israeli embassy in Athens. Protesters burnt flags and effigies, hurled stones at the embassy and clashed with police during a march by about 5,000 people, they said.
Tens of thousands of people marched in the town of Sakhnin, northern Israel, on Saturday in one of the biggest rallies held by Israeli Arabs in recent years, Israeli media reported. Calling Israeli leaders “war criminals”, the demonstrators demanded an end to the onslaught on Gaza, they said.
Around 3,500 people marched in Berlin and 4,000 in the western city of Duesseldorf, police said.
In the German capital, demonstrators carried pictures of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and one small girl cradled a doll smeared in blood.
Hundreds joined a protest in central Dublin.
“I just thought the fact that 300-400 people would’ve been bombed, would’ve been killed, was extremely wrong,” said Andy Defaoite, a 27-year-old teacher in the Irish capital.
More than 1,000 demonstrators marched through Kuwait City, with banners reading “Gaza will not die” and “We want a free Gaza”.
Another 1,000 marched in Madrid, some calling for sanctions against Israel, equating Zionism with Nazism and chanting slogans like “Israel kills, the world just stands by”.
Police said about 1,500 people marched through Amsterdam.
About 1,000 demonstrators marched through the Italian city of Milan on Saturday, some burning Israeli flags, with a smaller rally in Turin.
Another excellent report on the Demonstration in London Here the estimated turnout is 50-60 thousand people.
The World Demonstrated in protest against the war in Iraq and the politicians did not listen. The War in Iraq is in fact illegal, based on lies. Will they listen to us now as we say NO AGAIN to Israel killing innocent people in Gaza?
Israel is committing many crimes and we Say NO MORE.
Are they still deaf?
Defending the criminals in the US and Israel who kill innocent people has gone on far to long.
We are fed up with war mongering, murdering, power hungry, profiteers.
There are a large number of Demonstrations in the US and I will post them if they magically appear anywhere. I can only hope to have a busy evening.
Reports on protests
Reports on Canadian protests below. Approximately 3000 came out to protest in Toronto.
Just added Jan 4th 2009