Voluntary Sector: Taking Action ... Protests against Israel's siege on Gaza

Protesters: Stop The War Coalition
Target: The UK Government
Location: Central London
Date: 5 June

The lowdown

Several thousand people marched from Downing Street to the Israeli embassy in Kensington last Saturday to protest against the killing of nine activists by Israeli forces in the raid on the Turkish Mavi Marmara Gaza aid ship (31 May). The protesters waved flags and placards displaying 'Gaza End The Siege' and 'For Freedom We Sail', while others chanted 'Stop Israeli piracy'. The Metropolitan Police said about 2,000 people took part in Saturday's demonstration, but organisers put the number at 5,000.

Why the protests?

Protesters are urging the Government to step up pressure on Israel following the deadly commando raid. One protester said: 'I want Cameron and his colleagues, and the rest of the EU, to take notice and bring Israel to book because they have been doing it for far too long.'

How did the Government respond?

The Government has not responded directly, but Foreign Secretary William Hague issued a joint statement with his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner calling for an international inquiry to resolve the dispute.

How did the media cover it?

The BBC reported on the protests in London, revealing that among the protesters was Sarah Colborne of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, who was aboard the aid ship. The protest was also covered in The Times and on newswire AFP.

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