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Thousands gather in peaceful rallies in solidarity with Palestine across Ireland today

Protestors gathered at the Spire on O’Connell’s street earlier this afternoon before marching to the Israeli embassy.

Palestinian protestors against the Israeli attacks on Gaza, at the Ha'penny Bridge in Dublin today
Palestinian protestors against the Israeli attacks on Gaza, at the Ha'penny Bridge in Dublin today
Image: Leon Farrell

Updated May 15th 2021, 7:22 PM

THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE across the country are joining protests in solidarity with Palestine today.

Protestors gathered at the Spire on O’Connell Street earlier this afternoon, with Palestinian flags flying and some draped across the Ha’penny Bridge.

Those who gathered chanted for Palestine to be set free, with chants like: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”, “Free, free Palestine”, and “Israel, shame on you”.

The protesters then marched from the city centre to Ballsbridge, where the Israeli embassy is located on Pembrooke Road.

Outside the embassy, protestors gathered in huge numbers waving Palestinian flags and carrying signs calling on the government to expel the Israeli ambassador to Ireland.

GAZA PROTEST_3590 Protestors gather outside the Israeli embassy today Source: Sam Boal

Gardaí attended the scene of the protest and moved with it to the conclusion outside the Israeli embassy.

According to a Garda spokesperson, everyone who was present at the protest dispersed peacefully at its conclusion.

“No injuries were reported and no arrests were made,” said the spokesperson.

However, Gardaí have said that they will be carrying out an investigation into the organisers of the protest, due to public health guidelines restricting the number of people who can gather in a single group to 15.

Other protests occurred, with one on Dún Laoghaire pier, with People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett speaking out against the occupation of Palestinian land by Israel.

“Under international law, they have the right to resist occupation. That is a legal right to resist a military occupation,” said Boyd Barrett.

Smaller protests are also taking place outside the capital, with social media showing small protests in counties like Leitrim and Sligo, with larger protests in Cork and Galway. 

GAZA PROTEST_3370 Source: Sam Boal

Protests across the country are taking place on Nakba Day, which takes place each year on 15 May, which is when Palestinians remember Nakba or “the catastrophe”.

Nakba Day represents the current and historical exodus and expulsion of the Palestinian people from the region of Palestine.

The protests were organised by the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC), which had originally planned one major protest action before Gardaí warned them against, due to Covid-19 restrictions.

It comes as eight Palestinian children were killed overnight in the Gaza Strip.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, said in a tweet that the attacks by Israel on Palestine cannot be acceptable to the international community and that the UN Security Council should hold Israel to account, with Ireland to “speak forcefully” according to Coveney. 

“32 children killed since Monday in Gaza by Israeli fire – that’s approx 1/4 of all fatalities – It’s not acceptable,” said Coveney in a tweet, continuing that Israel has an international legal obligation to protect children in conflict.

UK protests

In the UK, thousands of people have gathered in central London to march in solidarity with the people of Palestine amid the ongoing conflict with Israel. 

At midday today, demonstrators arrived at Hyde Park near Marble Arch to march to the Israeli embassy, holding banners and chanting.

embedded259787331 Source: PA Images

Thousands of people marched through the park chanting “free, free Palestine”, and holding banners calling for an end to the bombing of the territory by Israeli forces.

Huge crowds of protesters then arrived outside the gates of the Israeli embassy in Kensington.

A temporary stage was set up on Kensington High Street and organisers urged people to keep moving down the road as numbers continued to swell and dozens of police officers lined nearby streets.

The Metropolitan Police said: “Officers are engaging with a group of people who have gathered for a demonstration in central London this afternoon.

“A policing plan is in place to ensure everybody is kept safe and to reduce the spread of Covid-19.”

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Huge crowds of demonstrators gathered outside the gates of the Israeli embassy were addressed by multiple speakers.

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told the crowds that international action provides “succour, comfort and support” to those suffering in the conflict.

Corbyn Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks at the London rally this afternoon Source: PA Images

Crowds chanted “oh, Jeremy Corbyn” and threw roses as he took to the stage.

“Think what it’s like being a mother or father and seeing a building bombed in front of you, knowing your family is in there, and you can do nothing,” said Corbyn.

“It’s our global voices that will give succour, comfort and support in those settlements alongside Gaza and all over the West Bank, East Jerusalem who are suffering at this time.”

Husam Zumlot, Palestinian ambassador to the UK, said: “This time is different. This time we will not be denied any more. We are united. We have had enough of oppression.

“Today we are saying enough, enough with the complicity. Thank-you for standing with us.”

TrafficLight A protestor waves a Palestinian flag atop a traffic light in London Source: PA Images

Former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott told those present: “We must remember we are part of an international movement. This is a worldwide movement for justice.

“Palestinian people are having their land seized… and they are now being killed in their homes.

“All of this is illegal.”

With reporting by Press Association

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