A section of the 800,000 strong London demonstation against Israel's genocide in Gaza, November 11, 2023
Millions protested Israel’s genocide against the Palestinians this past weekend, as part of a rising tide of opposition sweeping across the world. This global outrage has pitched workers in every country against their own rulers backing the genocide.
The most extraordinary of these demonstrations took place in London. Between three quarters of a million and one million people took to the streets of the capital city of imperialist Britain, which ranks alongside the United States and Germany in its bloodthirsty backing for Israel. The march included a vast section of England’s Muslim population and young people of all ethnic backgrounds. In a country with a population of 56.5 million, this means that around one in sixty people took action to demand a ceasefire and stop genocide.
It is in the UK that the gulf between the ruling elite and its parties and the mass of working people is most fully expressed, and which therefore points the way to explosive conflicts rapidly maturing in every country.
Gaza is a catalytic event, acting as a focal point for the hatred felt not only for the Conservative government but the entire ruling class and its parties, including the Labour Party. Sir Keir Starmer’s backing of Israel has made him the most despised Labour leader since Tony Blair took Britain into the Iraq war in 2003 based on lies. This has led to mass resignations and a collapse of support in inner city areas. Many demonstrators carried homemade banners targeting Starmer as an accomplice to war crimes.
The protest was an act of mass defiance against the filthy campaign waged by the Tory government and the press to slander anti-war demonstrations as antisemitic supporters of terrorism. In the week leading to the protest, the extreme right racist Home Secretary Suella Braverman insisted that the “hate march” should be banned by the Metropolitan Police. She was supported by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. The Met refused to comply only because they knew this would only spark greater resistance to the government’s dictates and its backing for Israel.
Governments everywhere peddle the lie that opposition to genocide is antisemitic. In fact, it is the spearhead of a global eruption of anti-fascism, anti-imperialism and anti-capitalism.
The accusations of antisemitism against protests that have mobilised large numbers of Jews have only confirmed that the government, Labour and the media will stop at nothing to justify their own crimes. This was confirmed by the response of Braverman to Saturday’s protest, posting on X/Twitter: “This can’t go on. Week by week, the streets of London are being polluted by hate, violence, and antisemitism. Members of the public are being mobbed and intimidated. Jewish people in particular feel threatened. Further action is necessary.”
She wrote this vile diatribe on the day that Israel was laying siege to the al-Shifa hospital and killing babies. If Braverman wants “further action” to stop protests against Israel’s barbarity then this can only mean unleashing police repression on a massive scale and mobilising the fascist scum who tried to attack sections of Saturday’s protest. She would deal with opposition in the UK in the same way that Netanyahu is responding in Gaza.