By Omar Malik (he/him)
Each week there have been protests from impassioned people who are concerned by the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. As a record 300,000 pro-Palestine protesters marched the streets of London this Armistice Day, we take a look at one of the recent pro-Palestine marches in Glasgow, whereby hundreds of protesters from throughout Scotland turned up to support an end to the devastating conflict.
People of all ages and ethnicities were present, uniting to support Gaza’s civilians.
Marchers hold up pro-Palestinian placards
“Peace be upon the land created for peace, which has never seen a day of peace” read one placard.
November saw the death toll of Palestinians rise to 10,000.
Another sign depicted the protesters’ pleas for peace, highlighting the hospitals and schools that have been bombed; the medical staff and children that have been killed; and the severe lack of water and electricity.
Protester displays anti-genocide sign
Despite George Square being filled with protesters, there was an amicable atmosphere. Commonality though peace talks was a recurrent mention from the passionate marchers.
There was, understandably, an active police presence at the event. But there were some hopeful moments witnessed at the protest.
Woman proudly waves Palestine flag
One that stands out was the appearance of a Jewish woman, adorning a yarmulke, who was accompanied by her young child. She was holding a large banner which detailed a desire for a peaceful ceasefire between both sides – and many pro-Palestinian protesters conversed jovially with her.
Boy holds a sign about children being killed by bombs
The only scene of violence at George Square came slightly later into the march – in the form of a small group of people who were holding “Don’t Bully my Breed” signs.
Perhaps attempting to attract the media’s glare onto the issue of American Bully XL’s being banned in the UK, some members of the group started threatening physical violence to the marchers, before being escorted away by police.
Volunteer holds a charity bucket
Standing at each end of George Square were volunteers holding charity buckets to aid Gaza residents, into which protesters could either insert their change, or scan a QR code to donate online.
Numerous volunteers were also handing out leaflets, primarily focused on socialist parties showing solidarity with the people of Gaza.
Marcher shows his desire for a ceasefire
A recurrent message on the leaflets, and many protesters’ placards, placed partial blame for the war on the Conservatives, the Labour Party and the SNP.
With the general election likely occurring within the next year, it is clear that the ongoing war will be a topic mired by intense inter-party animosity and an inevitable blame game throughout the election campaign and subsequent debates.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s boom in popularity may already be halting because of the party’s division regarding a ceasefire scenario.
Irish supporters of Palestine show up at George Square
Certainly the most eye-catching moments of the protest came from the marchers atop George Square’s Queen Victoria statue. An unusual combination of energetic teenagers, mothers with young children, and elderly men were on top of the iconic figure.
Throughout the day, the statue-dwelling group would momentarily take a microphone and chant: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
A protester proudly brandishes a Palestinian flag
Despite having such a large attendance, this march was only one of many in recent times relating to the Gaza crisis. Mid-October saw 1,000 Glasgow University students block roads in support of Palestine.
While up to 10,000 pro-Palestine marchers demanded a ceasefire in Bristol in November.
An elderly Scottish man supports the pro-Palestine marchers
The war involves a century of complex socio-political disputes, so understandably the issue is wholly divisive within the UK.
What is clear, however, is that people of all identities and backgrounds are beginning to demonstrate their radical, democratic voices in a manner that has not been seen in Britain for decades.
Since high school, I have been immersed in numerous areas of journalism.
Volunteering and interning at establishments focused on sports journalism, media reporting on underrepresented groups including disabled people, as well as writing monthly articles in my own time, the field of journalism has always captured my attention over the past decade.
I graduated in 2022 in English Literature MA Hons from the University of Edinburgh, and I feel as though those analytical and stylistic teachings have only aided my pursuit for a career in media writing and reporting, especially as I undertake a Masters in Digital Journalism MLitt at Strathclyde University.