Israeli airstrikes are reducing Gaza to rubble. A siege of the Strip is depriving millions of food and water. The British establishment, however, is turning a blind eye to this death and destruction, focussing all its energies on demonising those who dare to protest in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
This brazen hypocrisy, combined with the complicity of ‘our own’ ruling class in this genocidal murder, has provoked a mighty mobilisation back in Britain. And this mass movement is growing week by week, as the reports below reveal.
Despite all the threats from Tory ministers to clamp down on pro-Palestine protests, hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets over the past two weekends.
Home secretary Suella Braverman has called on the Met to be more heavy handed in issuing arrests against Palestine supporters. In truth, however, the government and the police have been shown to be powerless and paralysed in the face of this tremendous wave of protest.
Where a repressive crackdown has been attempted, such as outside Downing Street last Tuesday, this has only sparked an even greater backlash. The ruling class knows that they are playing with fire. The anger amongst workers and youth is palpable, and could explode at any moment.
In many towns and cities, these demonstrations are the largest seen in years – perhaps since the anti-war movement in 2003, against the imperialist invasion of Iraq.
Twenty years later, and history is repeating itself. The imminent prospect of an Israeli invasion threatens to wipe Gaza from the map. War crimes are being committed on a daily basis by Netanyahu’s regime. Yet once again, the western imperialists are happily ignoring ‘international law’, showing what a sick joke such rules are in reality.
Many well-meaning speakers on the platforms at these demos have called for a ceasefire; for peace negotiations. But the escalating aggression by the Israeli state and its imperialist allies underline how utopian such appeals are.
The huge numbers out on the streets, in Britain and across the globe, show where the real power in society lies. Only the world working class, organised and mobilised, can put an end to the horrors and barbarism of capitalism for good – in the Middle East and everywhere.
In Britain, the communists of the IMT are organising against the Tory warmongers and the rest of the criminal establishment, who have blood on their hands.
We are aiming our fire at the enemy at home: our own imperialist ruling class.
We are the only ones willing to defy the repressive attacks of the authorities and their media mouthpieces, and raise a revolutionary perspective for the people of Palestine.
On Saturday, 300,000 people took to the streets of London in support of Palestine. Over 80 IMT members mobilised for the demo. For most of our comrades, this was the biggest demonstration that they’ve ever seen in London.
Despite the efforts to have the march ‘banned’ by reactionaries, almost twice as many people came out as compared to the weekend before. No amount of threats by the Tories can hold back the working class and youth from having their voices heard.
With Israel’s attacks on Gaza entering into their third week, the mood on the streets was one of burning anger and indignation. This was particularly aimed at the British government, which has given its full backing to Netanyahu’s war.
Before the march began, we held an impromptu street rally by Marble Arch. Speakers from the IMT exposed the utter hypocrisy of the British, American, and European ruling classes, and outlined our task as communists in Britain: to support our brothers and sisters in Palestine by overthrowing our own imperialist ruling class.
On the march to Downing Street, even the torrential downpours could not dampen the energy and militancy of the march. The communist bloc in particular attracted plenty of attention, with our bold slogans like “There is only one solution: intifada, revolution!”
Many joined us in echoing these slogans. And by the end of the march we had even acquired a drummer to accompany our chanting! One group of young boys said our “slogans were fire”, asking how they can get organised with the IMT.
Once we hit Whitehall, we had another round of rousing speeches, with many passers-by stopping to look at our banners and ask about our perspectives.
It is clear that the youth have no faith in the hollow illusion of a ‘peace process’, international agreements, boycotts, or the reformist tactics of the past. They are seeking out revolutionary answers.
In total, we sold over 200 papers and met many people who now want to join the communists.
Our interventions in London and nationally are demonstrating that a bold and audacious approach is the recipe to organising these new radicalised layers of people, and starting the essential task of building a revolutionary communist organisation in Britain.
Intifada until victory! For a Socialist Federation of the Middle East!
Last Saturday, around 20 comrades from across South Wales met in the basement of a local café for our second Communist Day School of the year. This was a day school with a twist, however, since joining the local Palestine rally and march was part of the agenda.
We’d barely finished the first discussion – aptly enough on the topic of ‘imperialism and war’ – before we gathered our banners, flags, and literature and made a beeline for City Hall.
Upon arrival, we formed a group, while individual comrades made their way through the crowd with copies of Socialist Appeal and flyers.
The rally turned into a march towards the Senedd (the Welsh Parliament) and comrades formed a loud and energetic communist bloc.
Our chants over our megaphone of “The UK is not innocent!” and “There is only one solution: intifada, revolution!” clearly differentiated us from the other groups. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind as to who the revolutionaries in the procession were!
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Many young people joined in our chants, and multiple people came up to us and directly asked to buy a paper and get involved.
Upon reaching the Senedd, the crowd had grown to around 3,000 people. Two comrades headed to the podium to secure a place on the speakers list.
One of our comrades spoke to the rally, making a fiery call for a new intifada, with clear reference to the First Intifada beginning in 1987.
Again, this clearly identified us to all as the revolutionaries, and provided a pole of attraction for the advanced workers and youth present, who are rapidly drawing revolutionary conclusions.
Comrades then returned to the café, continuing our day school with a talk on ‘The Life and Ideas of Karl Marx’.
The day’s activity perfectly encapsulated what the IMT is all about: putting revolutionary ideas into practice by building the forces of communism.
On a wet Saturday afternoon, the centre of Sheffield was suddenly filled with a mass crowd of over one thousand people from all over the city. This was the largest spontaneous gathering the city has seen since the BLM and Kill The Bill movements.
Everyone came together to chant, sing, and rally against the ongoing slaughter of the Palestinian people, and against our own government and media’s complicity in the Israeli state’s crimes.
Defying Suella Braverman’s bluster about criminalising flag-waving, 15 Socialist Appeal members raised the red flag high, joining a sea of Palestine flags.
From the Town Hall to the local markets; from the council offices to the high street: young people and workers cried out “from Sheffield, to Gaza, we need an intifada!”
The march grew as it snaked through the city, with the Arab community marching side-by-side with other locals to demand an end to war crimes, media lies, and slander.
The speeches and chants revealed the conclusions being drawn by those disgusted with the propaganda of the BBC, Sunak, and Starmer.
It’s no coincidence that the same media who are dehumanising Palestinians were also viciously attacking striking workers not too long ago. The struggle of the Palestinian people for liberation from the barbarity of occupation is part of the struggle of all workers for liberation from the barbarity of capitalism.
That task now is to take this energy from the streets into workplaces, trade union meetings, and university campuses.
Our class must stand tall against state repression and ‘our own’ imperialist’s support of the Israeli war machine. This is what we have sworn to do as internationalist communist revolutionaries.
For a second weekend, masses of Glaswegians took to the streets to protest the Israeli siege of Gaza.
Speakers vented their fury at the lying establishment media and the heartless imperialists like Joe Biden and Rishi Sunak who have declared they will back Israel to the hilt.
A Palestinian speaker drew loud support from the crowd, as she denounced the fraudulent ‘two-state solution’ that has betrayed Palestinians’ hopes. Instead, she called for an end to Israeli terror and for a single secular and democratic state.
Communists are in full agreement on this point. But we point out that this can only be won through socialist revolution across the region. On such a basis, the masses could break the chains of imperialism that bind the Middle East in bloodshed.
This is summarised in our slogan of ‘Intifada until victory!’ And we proudly carried this chant through the city streets to George Square, which was filled with thousands more people.
We’ve never seen George Sq so full! Massive solidarity with #Palestine. Speakers pulled few punches: denounce Zionism, the betrayal of the ‘international community’ & fraud of ‘two-state solution’. Intifada Until Victory! pic.twitter.com/6RfIR2YPnY
— Revolution ☭ Scotland (@RevolutionScot) October 21, 2023
This mass movement has only just begun. And we are yet to witness the horrific crimes that will come following Israel’s full-scale invasion of the Gaza Strip.
Millions more will continue to protest around the world in solidarity with Palestine. And we will be among them to call on the working class to rise up against imperialism, end the Israeli occupation, and fight for a Socialist Federation of the Middle East!
On Saturday, around 10,000 people marched through Birmingham in support of Palestine. This was the biggest protest in Birmingham in years. IMT comrades arrived at midday, set up our stall, and immediately began to lead chants with our megaphone.
One comrade made a speech on the megaphone at the start, and over 100 people gathered around interested to hear our position.
During the march, our chants were very popular, and spread through the crowds: “There is only one solution: intifada, revolution!”; “Intifada until victory!”
We also focused on the fact that British imperialism is a key factor in this crisis, with our chant “Sunak, Starmer blood on your hands, Israeli troops off Palestinian land!”
This slogan highlighted the need for workers in Britain to fight the enemy at home: the British ruling class.
While others joined the march, some comrades stayed at our stall to sell copies of Socialist Appeal, and hand out flyers for our meeting afterwards. The front cover of the paper was very popular among the crowds, getting lots of interest, with many offering £5 for a copy.
In total, we sold around 70 copies of the paper, alongside other Marxist literature.
The demo lasted for four hours. The streets of Birmingham were awash with Palestine flags, chanting, and radical energy.
After the demo, we held a meeting nearby with comrades and people we met at the march. This included a talk about the situation in Palestine and the revolutionary way forward, discussing what we can do as communists.
On Saturday, comrades from Newcastle and Durham branches attended a protest outside the BBC building in Newcastle.
Despite officially being organised as a ‘vigil’ by the local branch of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign – it quickly developed into a militant demonstration, over which the organisers soon lost control.
Some radical Arab young people spoke on the open mic, and gave fiery speeches. One highlighted the role of western imperialism, rejecting international aid and diplomacy.
We were also able to intervene and put across the revolutionary Marxist position, which got a good response.
Meanwhile, the demo split and a young woman was harassed by the police for holding a placard comparing Netanyahu with Hitler.
— Daniel (@danthecommunist) October 22, 2023
When the policeman was shouted out of the crowd, reinforcements arrived, and police officers began making arrests. The crowd moved to block them, and ultimately ended up in a standoff with the police cordon that had formed by now.
Chants of “racist police off our streets” broke out. IMT comrades called for a march to the nearby police station, but the organisers held the crowd back.
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This whole episode reflects the shifts beginning to take place in the Palestine solidarity movement. These demonstrations are drawing in fresh layers of radical youth, who are already miles ahead of the self-appointed leaders of the movement.
The demo also revealed the potential for action in workers’ and students’ organisations locally: many agreed with us when we raised the need to pass motions through trade and student unions.
We are also intervening in the local campaign against the Rafael arms factory, which supplies weapons to Israel. We are calling on activists to link up with the factory workers, raising the demand of a workers’ boycott.
This weekend, the Leeds Communists participated in a march in solidarity with Palestine, and against the hypocrisy of the British media.
The day started with the first session of our weekend school, where we discussed our perspectives for the world revolution, before heading to the demo together.
In the city centre, around 25 of our comrades joined 5000 others and marched to the BBC offices in Leeds. Our ‘intifada until victory!’ banner was proudly displayed near the front of the march.
Three of our comrades took to the speakers’ platform and raised our revolutionary demands. These were received enthusiastically by the crowd.
Max from the Leeds Communists spoke at a Palestine demonstration on Saturday, calling on workers to halt the Israeli war machine with class struggle. pic.twitter.com/0uwk3M0dAK
— Socialist Appeal (IMT) (@socialist_app) October 23, 2023
We were selling copies of Socialist Appeal like hotcakes. Almost all came with donations to the fighting fund. We also met two young protesters interested in joining the communists.
There was a palpable mood of anger and disgust towards the BBC and other establishment mouthpieces, who have all fallen in behind the ruling class. Together, they have unleashed a torrent of slander and lies about pro-Palestine activists, as well as pumping out a steady stream of imperialist propaganda.
Leeds Communists will be out again at the student walkout on Thursday.