Saturday’s demonstration in solidarity with the Palestinians was the biggest march for Palestine in British history and one of the biggest marches in British history. A million people poured into London to march to the US embassy. The march more than filled the two-and-a-half-mile route all the way from Park Lane to the US Embassy.
Suella Braverman and the government badly miscalculated the mood of the country. They thought they could whip up a right-wing nationalist mood, by using Armistice Day to attack protestors. They thought that they could light up buildings with the Israeli flags, ban marches and demonise those who did protest by denouncing them as ‘hate mobs.’
Their strategy spectacularly failed. People reclaimed the armistice for themselves. When governments call us to remember those who died in wars what they really mean is, ‘remember those who died and prepare to do so again’. The million people who marched under the banner of ‘ceasefire now’ and who carried home-made placards that said “lest we forget – freedom for Palestine’ are marching for those who died in the past and today and do not want it to happen ever again.
The Stop the War Coalition and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament have called for a national workplace day of action on this Wednesday 15th November.
As Educators we must put ourselves at the front of demanding a ceasefire now.
The Israeli Defence force bombing of Gaza has killed over 10,000 people half of which are children. The constant bombing has led to:
· 258 schools have been destroyed, which represents 51% of schools in the Gaza strip.
· Around 1.5m individuals have been displaced seeking refuge in UNRWA schools, hospitals and churches.
· 9 out of the 11 universities have been demolished.
· 427 students have been killed and 12 members of staff.
· The entire educational process in 19 of the higher educational institutions has been disrupted.
· 88,000 students have been deprived of education.
· Face to face education has been disrupted in all 34 higher education institutions in the West Bank effecting 138,800 students.
Students in Birmingham, Glasgow, York, and Bristol Universities walked out on Friday demanding a ceasefire now.
We are calling all our supporters in universities and colleges to join the workplace day of action. Organise teach outs, walk outs, lunchtime protests or a meeting to discuss the issue of Palestine. Some of the 15 FE colleges that will be taking action on the day over pay and conditions are organising Educationalists for Palestine rallies.
Let us know what you are doing on the day.
Sean Vernell UCU NEC