Sunday 27 July 2014

Wales for Gaza in Cardiff 26th July 2014 "This is our South Africa moment. This is the moment Palestine went mainstream. Adam Johannes Speaking

"This is our South Africa moment.
This is the moment Palestine went mainstream.
Palestine is the anti-apartheid movement of the 21st century.
It is the civil rights movement of our generation"

Adam Johannes Speaking at the historic 5000 strong march for Palestinian freedom in Cardiff yesterday

Unfortunately a few reports have appeared that rather than focus on 5000 people marching in a spirit of unity instead zoom in on an incident that took place yesterday, that many who marched won't have been aware of, to give a completely misleading impression of our historic march that does not reflect the experience of most of the few thousand people on the streets yesterday

The protest didn't 'turn violent' rather it was the victim of violent and criminal behaviour. We are still gathering testimony, but from what I personally witnessed and other testimony it appears that what occurred was the most outrageous behaviour many of us have ever witnessed in Cardiff, from two pubs, a small group of hardcore racists chanted racist abuse, threw beer over Muslim demonstrators and hurled glasses and chairs at the march. There were many young children and babies present and it is lucky none were hurt.

Demonstrators spontaneously held back people who quite naturally wanted to respond to such disgusting behaviour from racists made more confident perhaps in the poisonous atmosphere created by UKIP and others. It was a testimony to the discipline of demonstrators that no major confrontation took place.

The march continued peacefully and ended in a rally. The actions of half a dozen racists must not be used to detract from the actions of 5000 people marching for Palestine in an incredible spirit of unity: Whatever anyone says - we all know this was a significant march, we all know that it was a peaceful march, we all know that there will be even bigger protests to come and we all know that Palestine will be free.

It's no mystery. We're making history. We're winning victory...
Saturday's march was historic.

There has never ever been a march of this size in support of Palestinian freedom in Wales.

I have seen estimates of 5000 people marching. Thanks to everyone who made it happen. The carnage over the last fortnight is galvanising a new global solidarity movement of unprecedented breadth, depth and determination. The next step is protesting on Thursday at 5.30 at the offices of BBC Wales in Llandaff to call for BBC national coverage to start telling it like it is. Event page will be created soon. We are also showing a documentary film, 'Roadmap to Apartheid' on the parallels between apartheid in South Africa and Israel on Tuesday at 6.30pm in the Unite Building on 1 Cathedral Road.

Words by Adam Johannes, Cardiff Stop the War Coalition & Organiser of Wales


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