Thousands of people in various parts of Europe took part in pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel demonstrations on Saturday. Demonstrations took place in Paris, London, Rome, Berlin and Barcelona, among others. There were riots in the capital of Great Britain. 29 people were arrested.
About 30,000 people took part in Saturday’s main demonstration in London, which took place in Trafalgar Square, according to the local police. people. Due to the incidents that occurred at 18:43 police ordered demonstrators to disperse and issued a ban on gatherings in force until 1 a.m. London time (2 a.m. Polish time).
Police said they made 29 arrests on Saturday in connection with pro-Palestinian demonstrations in London for inciting racial hatred, other racially motivated crimes, violence, disorderly conduct and assault on a police officer. This is a higher number than during demonstrations in support of the Palestinians that took place in London on the previous three Saturdays.
Demonstrations demanding an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip also took place on Saturday in other parts of London and in several other British cities, including: in Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast.
Thousands of demonstrators in Paris
A pro-Palestinian demonstration was organized in Paris on Saturday. For the first time since the outbreak of the war in the Gaza Strip on October 7, the Paris authorities allowed the organization of a demonstration “in favor of the Palestinian people.”
According to the prefecture, 19,000 people demonstrated, and according to the leftist CGT trade union headquarters, the co-organizer of the event, 60,000 people. The demonstrators demanded “peace” and an “immediate ceasefire.”
The demonstration went through the streets of Paris from Pl. Republika to Pl. Nation, in a peaceful atmosphere. Marchers carried Palestinian flags and banners reading: “Free Palestine” and “Ceasefire, stop bombing civilians!”
A 46-year-old demonstrator, legal assistant Leila Gharbi, who was holding a Palestinian flag, came to “stop genocide.” – We need an immediate ceasefire – said the woman quoted by AFP. Ines, a 21-year-old student, demanded “an end to barbarism.” Keltoum Alouache, a 75-year-old retiree of Algerian origin, arrived “on behalf of the children of Gaza and Palestine.” “We are not against anyone,” said the man holding the Palestinian flag.
Leader France untamed Jean Luc Melenchon has repeatedly sided with Palestine and refused to recognize Hamas as a terrorist organization.
Pro-Palestinian demonstrations in Spain
Also in many cities Spain pro-Palestinian demonstrations took place. In Barcelona – according to the city police – once again about a thousand people took to the central streets of the city in the evening under the slogan: “Solidarity with Palestine, against Israeli genocide.”
The organizers condemned the passivity of the international community and the government in the face of “war crimes”. They waved Palestinian flags and shouted: “Gaza, you are not alone.” In Barcelona, the largest pro-Palestinian demonstration so far took place two weeks ago; 20,000 people participated in it.
In Gijon, Asturias in the north of the country, the Solidarity with Palestine Platform called for a demonstration. Hundreds of people protested in the streets against the bombing of Gaza, calling for a ceasefire. The demonstrators carried banners with the inscriptions: “Yesterday South Africa, today Palestine”, “Boycott Israel” and “Sanctions on Israel”.
Thousands of people demonstrated in Zaragoza under the slogans: “Down with Israeli occupation and apartheid” and “Stop the Zionist massacre.” A manifesto calling for “an end to violence” and “an end to the blockade of the Palestinian territory and people” was read in front of the headquarters of the central government delegation.
In Valencia, social organizations, the Palestinian Community of Valencia and the Moroccan House, called for demonstrations. Demonstrations of support for the Palestinians were also held in Toledo, Bilbao, Ceuta and several other Spanish cities.
Manifestations in Rome and Milan
A pro-Palestinian demonstration took place in Rome on Saturday, and two rallies were held in Milan – one in solidarity with the Palestinians, the other in support of Israel.
About five thousand people marched through the streets of the Eternal City with banners against Israel and expressions of support for the Palestinians. The demonstrators included representatives of the leftist and Palestinian communities and students. One of the slogans of the protest is “New Nuremberg for Western crimes in Palestine.” The protest was peaceful, media report.
A demonstration was held in Milan, organized by the Italian League, under the slogan “In defense of Western values, rights, security, peace and freedom.” Its purpose was to express support for Israel.
– The last fascists left are those who march through the city and hate Israel, yearning for hatred and fear, said the leader of the League, deputy prime minister, during the rally. Matteo Salvini. He was accompanied by ministers of Giorgia Meloni’s government from his party.
Salvini emphasized: – The enemy is not Islam, but fanaticism, extremism and terrorism. Islamic terrorism – he added – this is the plague of this century.
The deputy prime minister called anti-Semitism a “cancer” and said that “Italy, the West and democracy cannot be afraid.”
During the rally attended by hundreds of people, a message was read from Israel’s ambassador to Italy, Alon Bar, who thanked for the support.
Around four thousand supporters of Palestine were demonstrating near the site of this demonstration at the same time. They raised slogans “Free Palestine” and also slogans aimed at Israel. Participants in the rally held Palestinian flags and banners of leftist movements and groups. There were also shouts against Giorgia Meloni’s government.
Berlin, Oslo, Krakow
Pro-Palestinian demonstrations took place in several cities in Germany on Saturday. The largest one, in Duesseldorf, gathered approximately 17,000 people. Meanwhile, 8.5 thousand demonstrators passed through the center of Berlin. After the demonstration in Berlin’s Neukoelln district, there was an attack on police officers using pyrotechnics.
The event in Duesseldorf was peaceful, a police spokesman said. However, several accusations of inciting hatred were brought. Posters relativizing the Holocaust were confiscated before the event began, reports the portal tagesschau.de.
After the demonstration, many people gathered in the largely Arab neighborhood of Neukoelln, on Sonnenallee, where there have been numerous clashes with police over the past few weeks. A police spokeswoman told the Bild daily portal that there was a pyrotechnic attack on a police car. Two policemen suffered injuries. According to “Bild”, two children and a man and a woman were also injured.
Pro-Palestinian demonstrations also took place in Krakow.
Main photo source: EPA