Andy Slaughter

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Andy Slaughter

Centenary of the Balfour declaration

Thousands of supporters of Palestinian human rights marched through London November 2017 to mark the centenary of the Balfour declaration.

The march and rally were organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Palestinian Forum in Britain, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Stop the War Coalition and the Muslim Association of Britain.

It was supported by Unite the Union, UNISON, National Education Union- NUT Section, GMB, ASLEF, RMT, FBU, UCU, PCS, CWU; and Europal Forum, CND, Pax Christi, APCUK, Kairos UK, Friends of Sabeel UK, ICAHD UK, Olive, Amos Trust, APCUK and Muslim Voice.

At the rally in Parliament Square, speakers included Dr Mustafa Barghouti, Ken Loach, Andy Slaughter MP, Matt Wrack general secretary FBU, Margaret McKee president UNISON, John Pilger, Senator Paul Gavan Sinn Fein, and many others.

Glyn Secker, from the campaign group Jews for Justice for Palestinians, told the crowd: “These criticisms are not and cannot be anti-Semitic — they are to assert basic human and Jewish values.”

Describing Palestine as “the world’s biggest prison” and a “psychological torture chamber”, Secker said: “Netanyahu you do not speak for me, nor for hundreds of thousands of Jews around the world who identify with your victims.”

A video of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a long-time patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, was also played to the crowd, which burst into energetic chants of “Ohh, Jeremy Corbyn”.

Ismail Patel, founder of Friends of Al-Aqsa, said that the message to the Government from Saturday’s march was clear. “First and foremost, apologise for the Balfour Declaration,” he said.

“Secondly, recognise the state of Palestine today. Third, continue with BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions] until Palestine is free.

“My friends, take this message home and keep working until Palestine is free,” he added, to rapturous chants of “free, free Palestine”.[1]