Thousands turn out for pro-Palestine march through Leeds city centre calling for 'an end to the violence'
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More than 1,400 people were killed and at least 220 hostages were taken, prompting an Israeli response.
Protestors held signs that read “Freedom for Palestine” and carried demands for an end to violence in Gaza.
The demonstration, that began at 12pm on October 28, was organised by West Yorkshire United for Palestine.
The group said in a statement: “The Israeli state has initiated ground incursions along the Gazan border, conducting raids alongside their ongoing bombardment campaign.”
It added: “As a united community, it is imperative that we raise our voices against these unspeakable atrocities. In solidarity with the Palestinian cause, West Yorkshire United for Palestine has organised a peaceful demonstration. It will serve as a powerful platform to demand justice and an end to the violence plaguing Gaza.”
There was a significant police presence in The Headrow today (October 28), as traffic was stopped and the march proceeded along the busy route before turning up Cookridge Street towards Millennium Square.
Meanwhile, prominent leaders in the community have weighed in on the situation in the Middle East. They include Imam Qari Asim of the Leeds Makkah Mosque, who organised a statement signed by members of a national advisory board calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza – and condemning recent reports of antisemitism and islamophobia.
The city’s Labour group said last week that incidents of antisemitism and islamophobia have risen in Leeds since the atrocities in the Middle East began.
And the President of the Jewish Society at universities in the city said students are facing increasing antisemitism on campus. The University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University, and Leeds Arts University have issued statements in response affirming their commitment to support those affected by the events in the Middle East. The universities also said that any form of discrimination would not be tolerated and gave directions on reporting.