Demo planned in Portsmouth amid anger at Gaza deaths

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PROTESTERS will take to the streets to oppose Israel’s campaign in the Gaza Strip.

The decision to march was made at a Palestine Solidarity Campaign meeting at the Somers Town Community Hub last night, which attracted about 40 people.

Gareth Edwards during the meeting.''Picture: Sarah Standing (142281-4128)

Gareth Edwards during the meeting.''Picture: Sarah Standing (142281-4128)

The planned demonstration will start at midday at Guildhall Square on Saturday, August 9 and wind through the city’s commercial precinct.

It comes amid growing international condemnation of Israel’s campaign in Gaza, which has claimed the lives of more than 1,380 people.

Stop the War Coalition national officer Sam Dathi was the meeting’s guest speaker.

Mr Dathi, from London, outlined the history of the conflict.

He called hopes of a two-state solution for Palestine and Israel a ‘complete dead-end’.

He said: ‘We need to return to a one-state solution, but I don’t think it’s going to happen any time soon.

‘It can only happen by the Arabs forming a united revolutionary movement from below, confronting Israeli colonialism and Western imperialism and setting up a secular state.’

Jenny Flintoft, secretary and chairwoman of the Portsmouth and South Downs branch of the campaign, said she was delighted with the meeting’s attendance.

She said: ‘It shows how strongly how people feel about Gaza and what’s happening there.

‘The media are trying to show it as a war, but it’s a turkey shoot, and people are really sickened by it.’

Gareth Edwards, of the Portsmouth Socialist Network, also spoke against Israel’s campaign in Gaza.

Mr Edwards, of Landport, said: ‘It’s predicated on the idea that they want to get rid of these tunnels.

‘It’s an issue of collective punishment built on a lie.’

As well as the march, there will be a vigil on the steps of Portsmouth Guildhall on Saturday at 1pm.

The vigil will honour the memory of the victims of the current Gaza conflict as well as those who died in the First World War.