Thousands of protesters rallied in Washington, DC, and in major cities across Europe on Saturday, calling for a ceasefire in the hostilities between Israel and Hamas as the humanitarian situation in Gaza worsens.
In Washington, DC: A crowd of pro-Palestinian protesters packed into Freedom Plaza in the United States capital Saturday afternoon, as speakers called for a ceasefire in Gaza and an end to US aid to Israel.
Freedom Plaza, located near the National Mall and White House, has been nearly entirely filled with chanting demonstrators donning red, green, and black attire and waving Palestinian flags.
The event organizers said they expected thousands of protesters.
The speakers slammed US President Joe Biden’s administration for its response to the crisis in Gaza, warning that they will not support the president in 2024 if he does not call for a ceasefire in the war.
“Let it be known to all of those, including Joe Biden and all of those congressmen who fail to see our humanity today, and who fail to hear our voices today, that we will not see their names on the ballot next year. And we will not hear them when they come calling upon us next year,” said Omar Suleiman, a Muslim scholar who addressed the crowd. “We will not allow for them to tell us anymore that the only refuge we have from right-wing racists are two-faced liberals.”
The march comes after several weekends of pro-Palestinian rallies in Washington.
The crowd is expected to march to the White House and then back to Freedom Plaza later Saturday.
In London: Thousands of people gathered in the UK capital on Saturday to call for a ceasefire in Gaza as airstrikes and fighting on the ground continue. London police arrested 29 people in the protest, citing offenses including inciting racial hatred, racially motivated crimes, violence and assaulting a police officer.
Demonstrators at the rally, which took place in Trafalgar Square, waved Palestinian flags and banners calling for a “ceasefire now.” Some people held signs that read “Free Palestine” and called for the bombing to stop.
“40,000 people packed into Trafalgar Square today to stand with Palestine,” the organizer of the event, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, posted on social media. London’s Metropolitan Police has not released any figures for the size of the demonstration.
The event was the third consecutive pro-Palestinian weekend rally in London. Thousands of people have attended each rally, with the Met Police estimating a turnout of 100,000 for the first solidarity march.
Demonstrations also took place in other cities across the UK on Saturday, including Manchester, Oxford, Newcastle, and Liverpool.
Thousands also took to the streets in cities across Europe, with demonstrations taking place in capital cities including Paris and Berlin.