Today (Tuesday 15th May), students and members of Bristol Stop the War Coalition marched from the harbour side water fountains, up Park Street and around the Triangle.
The group marched chanting ‘stop the war’ and ‘free Palestine’, holding banners, placards and flags.
There were a range of speakers that addressed the crowds before they set off on their march, including councillors, University of Bristol students, members of Bristol Uni Friends of Palestine Society, Jewish Voice for Labour, Green Party and Momentum Youth ambassadors.
The event’s Facebook page asks supporters and the public to ‘join our protest and march in solidarity with Palestine after 70 Years of Nakba and with the Great March of Return, calling for justice, equality and the implementation of the right of return’.
The event was organised by Bristol Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Bristol Stop the War Coalition with the support of other groups.
The page also states that ‘Bristol has an exceptional history of solidarity with Palestine- faith groups, peace-campaigners, sports teams, students, and even Banksy- many Bristolians have visited Palestine’.
They added comments about Bristol’s involvement with the Palestinian community, stating:
‘Bristol hosts the annual Palestine Film Festival and the Palestine Museum & Cultural Centre, opened by the Palestine Ambassador and the Lord Mayor of Bristol, is the first permanent Palestine exhibition of its kind in the western world’.
However, the protest attracted a degree of controversy from fellow students. One group of Zionist Jewish students objected to the protest and stood by the marchers holding an Israeli flag. They reported that marchers shouted at them saying, ‘you are murderers’.
Second-year Languages student, Talia Rack said, ‘No side is blameless but it didn’t feel appropriate to counter-protest this march on Nakba day, in light of what happened on Monday in Gaza’.
There were approximately fifty or sixty people marching in the city, many of which were students at the University of Bristol.
Feature image credit: Ruby Rowan Gleeson