Edinburgh - thousands march in Palestine solidarity demo

 Thousands from all round Scotland marched through Edinburgh today, Saturday10th January, in solidarity with people in Palestine under attack from the Israeli state.  The large turn-out indicated widespread revulsion at the massacre of civilians by the Israeli forces.  Hundreds of shoes were hurled over police lines towards the US consulate, as the demonstrators were kept back some way from the consulate itself. 

Later, speakers addressed a rally at the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens.

" The invasion of Gaza makes me feel sick and angry.  Boy do we need a worldwide intifada." declared one demonstrator.

 If you attended the demo, we invite you to post further reports, information and photos.

More info

Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign




shoes and paint thrown and cops and US embasy

By Anonymous

Re: Edinburgh - thousands march in Palestine solidarity demo

By Anonymous

What were Brittish Transport Police doing protecting the US consulate?

Or were the L&B lot too scared?

Re: Edinburgh - thousands march in Palestine solidarity demo

By barry

I really think something needs to be done about the way that the stewards were acting on this demo.

Not everyone likes to protest in the same way, in fact I think it is very important that many diffrent kinds of action are taken.

I really really object to stewards acting like cops, being told what to do by them, and man-handled by them!

People should be free to act the way they like on demos, and not controlled by a small minority, who definitely do not represent everyone.

Re: Edinburgh - thousands march in Palestine solidarity demo

By Anonymous

Well Barry - the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign is dominated by members of the SWP who supp;y most of the stewards for A to B marches like this and 'agree' conditions with the Police beforehand.

They are known to like rules and regulations, and have plans for us if they ever got into power, so don't be surprised that they like to behave like cops.


Re: Edinburgh - thousands march in Palestine solidarity demo

By Anonymous

I agree with barry. I got elbowed in the ribs for moving a barrier by a steward who then told me it was a "peaceful demo". When questioned the only thing he could say to defend his actions was that I was "being a dick" and his analysis of the situation didnt go beyond that.

If these people cant even give solidarity to folk on the same march as them, what hope have the people of Palestine got?

Re: Edinburgh - thousands march in Palestine solidarity demo

By Anonymous

Hey the Scottish Paleastine solidarity has quite a few Scottish Socialists but I dont know of any swappys in it... The stewards were just volunteers who they put a call out for. I recognised some of them as Swp...but its like the world...some of the people who go for these positions tend to be the low self esteem give me a little power types they need to feel they are in control...fuck! some of them have never been exposed to consensus based decision making...we need to help them... But that said thought it was a good action liked the shoe thing and the red cops...liked the good feeling of the people.

Re: Edinburgh - thousands march in Palestine solidarity demo

By Anonymous

 I suppose this is as good a place as any:

The anti-war movement is still dominated by people (trotskyist or not) who need to take an honest stock of the last 5 years. In my view, the facts are:

The movement against the war in Iraq was among the biggest missed opportunities in the recent history of British leftism. It was a situation in which there was genuine and widespread discontent which could have threatened the government, which was squandered by exhausting people with marches and attempts by parties to increase their membership.

Marching in circles achieves nothing other than making ourselves feel better. If there is to any real pressure it needs to go beyond this. It would be really terrible if the discontent over the Palestinian situation achieved nothing because it was wasted doing this kind of stuff. It seems like organizing bodies like StW and the stewards on this march are the only people who haven't realized this. 




Re: Edinburgh - thousands march in Palestine solidarity demo

By Cat

Fair point regarding STW but mass protest is never a bad thing, it empowers, brings people together, boosts moral, creates potential for autonomous space, pressures the State. Lets use it as a starting point then. Lets do the direct action, Lets push for a blockade of the weapons  manufacturers, lets build towards blocking NATO here in Edinburgh next November, lets show the people who came out today the bigger picture...because that is what It was about for me today...telling people about the weapons parts made in UK factories, about G Brown backing the US backing Israel, about an economic system that needs to wage war to survive, we are part of a historical process there are no quick easy solutions, stuff like today is just one building block so  lets see what we can take from it to use in the future. I have met some amazing activists who had never been ivolved in anything before the antiwar protests and I dont know of anyone who is not a more aware person because of them.

Re: Edinburgh - thousands march in Palestine solidarity demo

By Anonymous

I don't expect this to be a particularly popular viewpoint, but...

The primary problem with the march was not the attitude of the stewards or whether it should have been more militant. The main issue with the march was the political stance taken:

1) The typical tailgating of Palestinian nationalism which hit its lowest point with statements from the PSC speaker about Hamas' names being written in gold for the generations to come etc etc. For some reason, encouraging workers in Palestine to die on behalf of nationalism (by its nature bourgeoise) seems very popular. Solidarity does not just involve listening to the Palestinians (as was tritely suggested) - it means analysing the situation and being prepared to be critical of those on the ground. Hamas may very well be relatively popular in Gaza but so what? Should we go along with everything the most popular party does in Scotland/UK as well?

2) Idiots on the march with Hezbollah flags.

3) An almost complete lack of any sort of mention of class whatsoever. The best you could hope for was perhaps one or two mentions hidden away towards the end of a leaflet. Most of the groups on the march supposedly argue from a Marxist or left-wing point of view but seem ridiculously keen to avoid mentioning any of this in anything they do or say (as per usual, popular frontism resulting in the dilution of any political message). The vast majority were saying absolutely nothing that you could not hear from any vague liberal leftist.

On a less important note, some of the chants being led by the main guy with the loudspeaker (presumably in some sort of official capacity?) didn't really make sense and the big banner at the front of the speakers managed to misspell "coalition" on it as well.