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Six months of rallies in London: Thousands call for Gaza ceasefire

Protesters wave flags and hold placards during a rally in support of Palestine in central London, on April 13, 2024. (AFP)

Thousands of people have gathered near the British Parliament in the latest protest in London to call for an immediate halt to Israel’s hostilities in the Gaza Strip.

Demonstrators, carrying Palestinian flags, changed slogans like; “Free Palestine” and “Stop the genocide” and started the rally from Russel Square before proceeding towards Aldwych, and finishing in Parliament Square on Saturday.

Protesters were also calling for an immediate stop to arming Tel Aviv.

There was a heavy Metropolitan Police presence in London with close to 1,000 officers being deployed to several different events taking place across the city

During the rally, pro-Palestine supporters clashed with protesters rallying in support of Israel, with one man shouting "You don't want the hostages" and another making a "cut-throat" gesture.

This weekend marks six months since Palestine solidarity demonstrators take to the streets across Britain every Saturday, despite politicians’ criticism and close police scrutiny.

The rallies began when Israel launched its bloody military campaign against the people of the Gaza Strip on October 7, which has killed more than 33,680 Palestinians so far – mainly women and children, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

Ever since Britain has seen huge swathes of demonstrators gather to demand an end to the regime’s savagery in the besieged strip.

According to the director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), one of the organizers, the protests have been “extraordinary” in their impact.

“The numbers were phenomenal … that was a moment I thought: grief, we’ve built something extraordinary,” said Ben Jamal, the director of the PSC.

He said the demonstrations have continued to attract a “broad alliance” of people with more than 270,000 people subscribed to the PSC’s mailing list in April.

The Metropolitan police commissioner Mark Rowley also acknowledged that there were insufficient grounds to stop the protests, so the demonstration went ahead, bringing hundreds of thousands of people to the streets every weekend.

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