Last Saturday (9 August), over 200 people marched in Portsmouth against Israel’s latest offensive in Gaza, the largest show of solidarity with Palestine in the city in years.
The march, called for by Portsmouth and South Downs Palestine Solidarity Campaign, was loud and passionate, filling the Commercial Road with the chant “Free Free Palestine!”.
The demonstration was strikingly diverse with protesters reflecting the wide range of people outraged by Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.
Shortly after leaving Guildhall the demonstration was disrupted by a group of 10-15 English Defence League members who tried to block the march. The Portsmouth News has a video of the moment here.
However, despite a number of attempts, the fascists failed and the march continued, haranguing them whenever they showed their faces. They showed their cowardice after the march was over, by attacking three women and tearing their Unite Community flags.
While Saturday’s march was a fantastic show of solidarity, the campaign against the occupation must continue. Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) actions are being planned, and a petition to un-twin Portsmouth with Haifa has been circulated for the last week. Watch this space as the campaign continues.