This week the Palestine Solidarity Campaign called for protests across the country to mark “Nakba 76” – when Palestinians remember the “Nakba” or “catastrophe” – the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948.

On Saturday 11, protests were held in Dorchester and at the screening of Eurovision at Weymouth Pavillion.

In Dorchester Women in Black formed a silent circle outside Barclays Bank standing in memory and in solidarity with the victims of Israel’s war on Gaza. 70% of the 35,500 victims in Gaza are women and children; 14,500 – over 40% – are children. [See data here]

Barclays fund £6.1 billion in loans and underwriting, to companies whose weapons, components, and military technology are used by Israel in its attacks on Gaza. Barclays makes profits from genocide.

The silent protest was followed by a rally and march through Dorchester town centre.

Sam Strudwick, former health worker and one of the protest organisers told the rally:

“70 percent of the 35,000 victims are women and children. 40 percent are children. Hundreds of thousands flee but there are no safe zones to flee to. Al Aqsa hospital has hours of left. When it runs out babies in intensive care and 25 patients in ICU will die.

“This is why we are here; the movement is rising worldwide. We will continue to demonstrate, we will continue to stand up to our government’s complicity, until Palestine is free”.School student, Poppytold protestors:

“The number of children killed in Palestine is the same number as all children aged 0-15 in Dorchester, Weymouth and Bridport. If every child from the nurseries, hospitals, primary schools and middle schools were killed would you not rise in rage?”

Diane, a protestor whose husband is Palestinian, spoke:

“I’ve been married to a Palestinian for almost 40 years. I’ve travelled throughout the West Bank and visited Gaza. The Palestinian people are the most welcoming I’ve ever met. The onslaught we are now seeing is sickening beyond words. To see my beautiful family denied the rights that we here take for granted needs to end. We cannot talk about human rights here whilst denying the Palestinians their human rights. I call on our government to ban arms sales to Israel immediately and demand a permanent ceasefire.”

Eurovision song contest protest – No Pride in Genocide!

At 6.00 pm, a protest was held against the screening of the Eurovision Song Contest outside the Weymouth Pavillion, with many leaflets taken by passers by and attendees.

Palestinians called for a global boycott of the contest due to the organisers refusal to ban Israel (in contrast to the ban on Russia for its illegal invasion and occupation of Ukraine).

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