Since the start of November 2023, I've been photographing marches taking place in Cardiff by pro-Palestinian supporters. These have been in response to the actions taken by Israel in the days and months after the attack on the 7th of October by Hamas (Identified as a terrorist group by the Uk's Terrorism Act 2000, with its military wing being proscribed in 2001 and political wing in 2021). Since the war started, 23,843 people have been killed and more than 60,317 have been injured from Israeli attacks on Gaza (information accurate 14/1/24)
Protestors have been calling for a permanent ceasefire and to an end of hostilities in the Gaza strip and West Bank. Chanting phrases such as "Stop arming Israel, stop bombing Gaza" and "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free". Marches have been well attended for a continuous event and don’t seem to be slowing down.
The former UK Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, described the marches as "hate-marches" in a now infamous article in The Times, attacking the Metropolitan Police’s perceived bias when dealing with protests (the article also hadn’t been run past the Prime Minister’s office before publication). This resulted in a political storm arising from a march taking place on Armistice Day in London. With the Home Security’s comments in the days leading up to the march resulted in a counter demonstration from the English Defence League (EDL), in an attempt to "defend" the Cenotaph - from, what has to be added, a march that was going nowhere near it. This ultimately led to Braverman's sacking.
From my own experience of these marches, the protestors have been peaceful. Loud, inconvenient and disruptive? Yes, however this is the nature of protest. There have been a few instances of violence, albeit from non-protestors and bystanders. These thankfully do not escalate and the protestors and police show restraint when dealing with them.
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