A Peace Walk for Gaza was held in Brighton on Sunday 18th January 2008. Due to start at 1pm from the town hall we eventually got started at 1:30pm after waiting for some people to arrive from out of town.
To begin with it looked like very few people had turned up but by the time the speeches were over and we’d got started there were a good number. Previous walks have been swamped with police but, thankfully, this time the police kept a relatively low profile.
Speakers included a Jewish man with relatives who had died in The Holocaust, a representative of the local MP, a representative from Amnesty International and a Palestinian. Sadly I did not record their names. We walked up North Street and along Western Road finishing up at Norfolk Square. A mad old man with an extraordinary beard and a stick provided balance by ranting that Palestinains were all shits, he knew one and every time he met him he ended up rowing with the guy.
In the past when I’ve attended these type of things there have not been enough Muslims. I am frustrated that British Muslims complain about Israel yet do not seem to get active in protests. This time there were a fair number of people who appeared to be Arabs and possibly Palestinians. They got involved in “free Palestine” chanting and this included “From the river to the sea” which could be construed as a call for the abolition of Israel. I thought the event organiser apeared uneasy that the chanting might cross the line into anti-Semitism but perhaps that was me. In the end the event went off well and stayed focused on helping Palestinians.