Al-Nakba 2010 - We Will Not Forget - London Protest
Photo report, inminds 16 May 2010
15 May marks the anniversary of Al-Nakba - the 1948 expulsion of Palestinians from their land by Zionist colonists for the creation of Israel. The date was commemorated in London with a demonstration outside the Prime Ministers residence in Downing Street.
The man in the background holds a placard which reads "Nakba 2010 We will not forget" recalling the catastrophic loss of Palestine over 60 years ago, and all the slaughter, destruction of over 500 Palestinian towns and villages, and ethnic cleansing that went with it to force over 700,000 Palestinian people to flee from their homes resulting in the largest ongoing refugee crisis in the world. The woman in the foreground holds a postcard with the words "Remember Gaza 2009", recalling the slaughter inflected on the Palestinians just recently in January 2009 when Gaza was pulverized by the Israeli air-force, army, and navy.
But the Palestinians are more than just memories, they are a people, a nation that deserves to live, to take its place in dignity amongst the other nations of the world. The question that begs answer, is when will the world act on these memories to bring justice to the Palestinians, to 'Free Palestine' as the placard she holds in her other hand reads. Will our generation realise this goal or will we be asking our children to also not forget?
Nakba 2010 - We will not forget
People on Parliament Street protesting opposite Downing Street to commemorate Al-Nakba
Downing Street, visible through the placards is sealed of by a high fence. Protesters are forced to stay in their pen on the other side of the street, well away from the Prime Minister's abode at 10 Downing Street.
Protesters demand 'End the Siege on Gaza', 'Free Palestine'
Young boy demands "Stop your crimes in Gaza and Jerusalem"
End the criminal siege on Gaza
Rabbis of the Neturei Karta
"Judaism rejects the Zionist State
and condemns its criminal siege & occupation"
Rabbis of the Neturei Karta
"Dismantling of the Zionist State = End of Bloodshed
please God - Speedily & Peacefully"
"Justice for Palestine"
A womans list of reasonable demands culminating in 'human rights for all'.
"Hands of Al-Aqsa"
Delegation to hand protest letter to 10 Downing Street, includes leaders from PSC, Stop the War Coalition, and the British Muslim Initiative, Baroness Jenny Tong, Alexi Sayle and Lauren Booth.
Alexi Sayle, comedian and writer,
reads out the letter to be presented to the new Prime Minister and his Lib-Dem coalition partner, reminding them of the pre-election promises of the Lib-Dems including an arms embargo on Israel.
The Nakba Key was presented to 10 Downing Street with the letter.
The key symbolises the house keys many Palestinians, who were ethnically cleansed from their homes in 1948, still hold on to, passing it on from generation to generation, as a symbol of resilience and determination for their right of return to their homes.
The protesters delegation led by Baroness Jenny Tonge entering Downing Street (left)
Security at Downing Street(right), the door to No 12 Downing Street is visible in the distance behind the armed policeman (number 10 is to the right - the black building)
Boy follows victory symbol on his placard - Freedom for Palestine
I love Palestine
We will not forget you Gaza
Jews for justice for Palestinians - Break the siege
"[Deportation at the airport] We saw the injured [Turkish] men going through.. a lot had a leg cut out of their trousers or an arm cut out of their top. It had been cut out to treat their wounds.. they were covered in blood, blood that had been there for three days, and some of them had wounds that were still bleeding.. What upset me most was seeing the dozen men, one after another, hobbling across the terminal, with a bandaged foot. I couldn't ask them why so many of them had a bandaged foot, I couldn't ask them what had happened, because if they spoke or if any of us spoke to them the Israelis beat the injured person.. We later found out that they had these injuries on the tops of their feet from when the troops came down from the helicopter on the Mavi Marmara, and they came down firing - they had been shot from above. Some of the men that were killed were shot at close range - head and chest, but a dozen of the men who were shot, among 59 people who were shot, they were shot at the tops of their feet - the bullets were coming down.. They weren't given a wheelchair or a pair of crutches, and if any of the other passengers stood up and tried to offer [help].. that person was dragged away and smacked by these Israelis. The Israeli soldiers sat on the floor, laughed and sniggered and made every one of these Turkish men hobble and hop all the way across, some 200 metres, everyone of them, one by one, made to do that purely for the sick amusement of the Israeli soldiers."