2010 London Al Quds Day Photos
Al Quds Day demonstration | Every year millions of people around the world come together on Al-Quds Day in solidarity with the oppressed, in particular the oppressed people of Palestine who have been living and dying under Zionist occupation for more than 70 years now.
It was in 1979 that Imam Khomeini during the first Ramadan after the victory of the Islamic Revolution inaugerated Al-Quds Day as the last Friday of Ramadan: “Al Quds Day is the day for the weak and oppressed to confront the arrogant powers”.
Addressing the Muslims fasting in Ramadan with the worlds “I invite Muslims all over the globe to consecrate the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadhan as ‘Quds Day‘ and to proclaim the international solidarity of Muslims in support of the legitimate rights of the Muslim people of Palestine” he perminantly infused the Palestinian cause in to the heart of the Muslim calendar.
At that time Palestine had been under occupation for 31 years, and now 31 years have past since that inaugeration of Al-Quds Day, and to our collective shame Palestine is still under occupation – now for 70 years.
This year the London Al-Quds Day demonstration was held on Saturday 4th September 2010. As people started assembling in Marble Arch from 2pm onwards, as the coaches from around the country started arriving it, was clear that this was going to be the largest Al-Quds Day demonstration of recent years – perhaps seven thousand people had gathered to march for Palestine. Its was truly a good mix of all the progressive elements coming together for a cause, reminiscent of the Stop the War demos before the invasion of Iraq. There were Palestinian flags, Hizbullah flags, flags of perhaps a dozen nationalities, flags of the left – red flags with hammer and sickle, stop the war, etc. all sharing the space in unity with Palestine.
Supporting organisations included AhlulBayt Islamic Mission, AhlulBayt Societies, FOSIS, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Friends of Lebanon, Islamic Forum of Europe, Innovative Minds, Interpal, Islamic Centre of England, Islamic Human Rights Commission, Islamic Student Association UK, Islamic Unity Society, Lebanese Community UK, Jews Against Zionism, Muslim Association of Britain, Muslim Council of Britain, Muslim Student Council, Neturei Karta UK, Palestine Return Centre and Stop the War Coalition.
The march progressed down Park Lane and at the bottom turned to come up the other carriageway of Park Lane and head towards Grosvenor Square to the American Embassy. At several spots along the route elements of the far-right EDL with the Zionist Federation (on the day led by a deputy of the Board of Deputies of British Jews), and Iranian opposition groups ( MKO, royalists and the green movement) tried to incite the demonstrators hurling racist abuse and projectiles at them including beer cans with spilling alcohol, but their numbers were so feeble that most people just ignored them and concentrated on the issue of the day – Palestine.
Traditionally the march would end at Trafalgar Square, but this year like last year it was not available. The Israeli Embassy, just over 3 miles away, was considered out of reach when taking in to account that most people, including the elderly, would be fasting on the day. So the American Embassy – home of Israel’s #1 supporter and bank-roller was chosen as rally spot where the demonstration would end.
About a dozen speakers addressed the rally including regular favourites Yvonne Ridley of Viva Palestina, Taji Mustafa of Hizb ut-Tahrir, Sheikh Bahmanpour Princliple of Islamic College, Rabbi Ahron Cohen of Neturei Karta (pre-sabbath recorded message), John Rees of the Stop the Coalition, Daud Abdullah of the Middle East Monitor and Massoud Shadjareh from the Islamic Human Rights Commission. Unfortunately due to a date clash with a conference for anti-zionist Jews, we lost our regular speaker from the secular Jewish anti-zionist tradition. Apart from the speeches there was also poetry recitation and a wonderful rendition of Michael Heart’s song for Gaza – “We will not go down” by a young boy Karam.