WE CAN’T AFFORD TO LET UP ON THE MOMENTUM OF THE PALESTINE MOVEMENT

Vincent Lyn
6 min readApr 5, 2024

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By Vincent Lyn

‘National Demonstration — Stop the Genocide Free Palestine Now’ in London

Britain stands out as an exception, and in a positive light, for once. While repression or diminishing activism has hindered the Palestine movement in some countries, the U.K. remains steadfast. Approximately three million individuals in Britain have participated in local or national demonstrations for Palestine over the past six months, with millions more lending their support. This constitutes the largest social movement in at least two decades, and it shows no signs of fading. On the contrary, many participants feel increasingly resolute and indignant towards Israel and its western supporters. This mass movement has deeply penetrated society, with activists immersing themselves in the history and politics of Palestine and imperialism. Consequently, these protesters are among the most well-informed in history. The movement has triggered a significant political crisis for parties unable to quell its presence on the streets.

It has sparked a profound political turmoil within the Tory party, unable to suppress the movement’s presence on the streets. Simultaneously, it has created a divide within the Labour party, with its followers advocating for support towards Palestine while its leadership remains adamant. Yet, with the impending national demonstration on the horizon, it’s evident that victory remains elusive.

Protests, occupations, and blockades serve a greater purpose than mere displays of solidarity or passive witnessing amid genocide. The aim is to render it infeasible for the British government to continue arming, funding, and supporting Israel. We aspire to contribute to the movement that secures Palestine’s liberation. To accomplish this, we must escalate our actions and strategize for revolutionary change. Mass mobilization is imperative. It is incumbent upon everyone to bolster these demonstrations and all other forms of resistance.

I had the opportunity to connect with Vanessa and Colin Watson from Peterborough, both dedicated members of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Like countless others, they have actively participated in numerous demonstrations and marches, unwaveringly expressing solidarity with the Palestinian cause. Their fervor and steadfastness in pursuing their mission, alongside millions worldwide who advocate for a Free Palestine, deeply resonate with me.

Here with Vanessa and Colin Watson of Peterborough — members of Palestine Solidarity Campaign

We must continue to amplify both national and international mobilizations without any hint of slowing down. While electoral campaigns might seem enticing as a primary avenue to challenge supporters of Israel, they can serve as a focal point with tangible impact. Under such circumstances, consolidating a larger revolutionary left is not a diversion from the broader movement, but rather a strategic integration that can enhance our collective efforts.

With 30,000 socialist revolutionaries at the forefront of the Palestine movement, we could significantly bolster workplace resistance, strikes, and overall opposition. It’s imperative that we strive to organize the largest-scale action possible. Confronting governments in both the U.K. and U.S. that are teetering on the brink of collapse. By extending marches and other forms of action while intensifying their militancy, we can accomplish even more than what has been achieved since October.

For instance, demonstrators advocating for the Palestinian cause protested outside companies supplying arms to Israel in Cheltenham, Bradford, and Edinburgh. In Cheltenham, a group of 400 individuals gathered outside GE Aviation Systems, which produces components for the F-35 fighter jet, currently utilized by Israel in its operations in Gaza. The protesters included employees from various trade unions, such as those representing healthcare, education, and university staff, rallying under the banner of Workers For A Free Palestine. One participant, who journeyed from London to join the Cheltenham protest, expressed to Socialist Worker, ‘Our aim is to exert pressure on companies involved in facilitating Israel’s complicity to genocide.’

Dozens of delivery trucks were compelled to divert their routes. Despite police presence, the picketers remained resolute. Passing cars halted and expressed solidarity through honks. Sonia, a local resident, vehemently criticized the British government’s support for Israel’s armament, declaring, “I’m ashamed to be British right now.” Expanding on her sentiment, I as a dual national, I’m utterly ashamed to be both American and British at this moment. Sonia emphasized the need to shut down manufacturers and disrupt any company involved in supplying arms to Israel. She conveyed a message to both the U.K. and U.S., stating that they are complicit in genocide through their support.

Picketing outside arms factories sporadically is insufficient. It requires consistent and fervent action to effectively shut down these facilities. During the Cheltenham protest, a speaker with family ties to Gaza delivered a poignant message: “They have nowhere to turn; they’ll be pushed into Egypt. This is what the world is witnessing. My people are being senselessly slaughtered.” Zad, a housing support worker, warned, “Israel is poised to invade the very area they advised the people of Gaza to seek refuge in.” Such atrocities could not occur without the political and military backing of the governments of the U.K. and U.S.

Laura, a trade unionist involved in coordinating the protest, strongly criticized the Tories’ recent definition of extremism. “As a reaction to the overwhelming support for Palestine among the British public, the government is attempting to suppress this solidarity by using anti-extremism measures to crackdown on people’s right to protest.

In Edinburgh, approximately 100 trade unionists formed blockades at the entrances to Leonardo UK, a company known for producing components for F-35 fighter jets. Members of Workers for a Free Palestine also participated in the picket of Leonardo. Cam, a local resident who joined the protest, expressed to the Edinburgh Reporter, “As members of this community, we refuse to tolerate the manufacturing of death on our doorstep. It implicates us. We cannot remain silent while a factory just down the road facilitates atrocities. Action was necessary.”

"In Bradford, demonstrators gathered at a Teledyne Technologies facility, a multinational corporation headquartered in the United States, known for manufacturing surveillance and targeting equipment implicated in the Gaza conflict. The protest was organized by Bradford Friends of Palestine, marking the sixth such demonstration at Teledyne’s site. Chants reverberated, accusing the company of profiting from Palestinian suffering: “Your profits are stained with Palestinian blood.” It’s crucial to recognize that weapons from both Britain and the United States are being used to prop up Israel’s genocide in Gaza. Every manufacturer involved in producing arms destined for Israel has blood on its hands.

In closing think on this — Gaza is being starved and a convoy of international aid workers murdered, including citizens of Australia, Britain, Poland and Palestine. Al-Shifa hospital destroyed and doctors executed. Over 36,000 people slaughtered including 14,500 children and a “plausible case of genocide at the ICJ. The question on my mind along with tens of millions what will it take for both the governments of the U.S and the U.K to act and completely ban arms sales to Israel.

Vincent Lyn

(All photos courtesy of Vincent Lyn)

CEO & Founder of We Can Save Children

Deputy Ambassador of International Human Rights Commission (IHRC)

Director of Creative Development at African Views Organization

Economic & Social Council at United Nations (ECOSOC)

Rescue & Recovery Specialist at International Confederation of Police & Security Experts

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Vincent Lyn

CEO-We Can Save Children. Director Creative Development-African Views Organization, ECOSOC at United Nations. International Human Rights Commission (IHRC)