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April 14, 2002

Over 150,000 demonstrate against Israel

Over 150,000 people(ie 10 per cent of the population of British Muslims), majority of them Muslims, demonstrated against the Israeli atrocities and occupation yesterday in London, reports The Muslim News.

Coach loads of people from various towns and cities of the UK participated, including Glasgow, Manchester, Oldham, Birmingham, Nottingham, Leicester, Preston, Blackburn, Bolton, Bradford, Sheffield, London, Southampton, Cardiff, Liverpool. "This was the biggest demonstration in the history of British Muslims, even bigger than the one held against the Satanic Verses in 1989," says The Muslim News.

The demonstration began at Hyde Park Corner with Dhuhr (midday)prayers and went to Trafalgar Square via Park Lane and Piccadilly Circus. The police were overwhelmed by the numbers as they had underestimated the numbers and if it wasn't for the excellent crowd control by the stewards and the well behaved Muslims, the demonstration would have got out of hand. "Even with passions rising at the rally, when people heard of the massacre of Palestinian civilians, including children, demonstrators continued with their dignified and peaceful protest. However, they have sent a clear message to the British Government, that they have to change their pro-Israeli policy and condemn the atrocities being committed by the Israeli soldiers and security forces against the Palestinian civilians," continues The Muslim News.

A leading member of the London Metropolitan Police later told the organisers of the march, the Muslim Association of Britain, that the "behaviour and procession of the demonstrators ‘had been exemplary’".

The demonstrators at the rally called Britain to impose sanctions against Israel and break off of diplomatic relations. The speakers, with unanimous support from the demonstrators, emphasised that "there can be no peace without justice (for the Palestinians)". Other resolutions of the demonstrators were: "To work ceaselessly to stop the war crimes of Israel against the unarmed and defenseless Palestinian people, to consider the illegal occupation of settlements as crimes against humanity, the British Government has a moral and legal obligation towards Palestine, as it was the major contributing element which facilitated the occupation of its lands by the Zionists and to bring Ariel Sharon before the War Crimes Tribunal.

Please note: The figures of the demonstrators were based on body count by The Muslim News. There were so many people that when the rally at Trafalgar Square ended at 5 pm (three hours after the march began), demonstrators were still pouring in from Hyde Park. Trafalgar Square and the surroounding roads were filled with people.

For further information contact us on 020 7608 2822 or 077 68 241 325. Please acknowledge The Muslim News when using the press release

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