I was at High Street Kensington on Saturday 5th June waiting outside the Israeli embassy for the protest march to arrive from Downing Street. Since
moving out of London in late 2008 I had not participated in any public demonstrations or protests and was glad to be back amidst the crowds. As the approximately 20,000 protesters descended upon High St Ken I was struck by two observations. Firstly by how many young teenaged Muslims were in the crowd. Perhaps I never particularly noticed from past demonstrations the sheer numbers of such young protesters. Perhaps it is specifically the Free Gaza protests that have attracted so many young protesters who may have followed the unfolding of the massacre online. I don’t know the answers. I re-watched the 3-minute video I took just before the 20,000 crowd gathered round and was again struck by the boldness and forwardness of young Muslim girls running up the stage, taking hold of the microphone and leading the early-gathered crowds in anti-Israeli chants. It could well be just the difference in physical layout – the last time I attended a mass protest it ended in Trafalgar Square where there is no chance of random protesters running onto the stage and grabbing the microphone. Regardless of the physical or logistic design of these protests, it was clear to me that there really has been an upswell of increasing popular support. Read more…
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