‘Remember the children of Gaza’ will be the cry as Manchester city councillors and residents fly the Palestine flag and read the names of children killed in the Gaza conflict this weekend.
Greater Manchester Stop the War Coalition are appealing for families in the city to unite and commemorate more than 400 children who have lost their lives in the recent bombings so far.
The event on Sunday August 17, beginning at noon and ending at 2pm outside Manchester Town Hall and held in Albert Square, has been backed by Manchester MP Sir Gerald Kaufman as well as North West MEPs and Manchester city councillors.
“The tragedy in Gaza goes on with 2,000 people murdered by the Israeli troops and these include many children whose lives have been cut short,” said Sir Gerald.
“I continue to advocate sanctions and an arms embargo on Israel.”
REMEMBER: Sir Gerald Kaufman is leading the commemoration service along with Stop The War Coalition
The names of fallen children will be read out and people will be asked to add handprints to a ‘Wall of Memory’ as a balloon for every child killed will be released.
Stop the War has also released a petition for people to sign to urge the Town Hall to fly the Palestinian flag to send a clear message to Westminster.
“The bombing must stop, the siege of Gaza must be lifted,” said Penny Hicks, convenor of the Stop the War Coalition and one of the rally organisers.
“We will read out the names of children who have died and pay tribute to them.”
The tragic loss of lives among the children of Gaza has caused widespread controversy and Sunday’s Stop the War rally will come after a senior Israeli diplomat, Ishmael Khaldi, was spotted last week by Boycott Israel Network activists.
The activists were part of a picket line outside Kedem Cosmetics, a Jewish shop, on Kings Street which has been at the centre of the Manchester protest for a number of weeks.
Khaldi has served in the Israeli Ministry of Defence, Israel Police and Israel Defence Forces.
It has been stated by a pro-Israeli lobby that the shop had been attacked by pro-Hamas supporters.
Mark Krantz, also an activist in the Stop the War Coalition, said that the stir over the diplomat’s Manchester appearance distracts people from recognising the gravity and the urgency of the tragedy in Gaza.
“The appearance of the senior Israeli diplomat at Deangate was a cynical ploy by Israel to change the nature of discussion over Gaza in Britain,” stated Krantz.
“It (the debate) is not about a little cosmetic shop in Kings Street, it is about the shocking amount of lives lost on a daily basis, even more horrifically those of children.”
Krantz went on to say that he believes the people of Manchester will turn out on the rally to send a ‘clear message’ that they will not tolerate the killing of children.
“The British government must realise that the people of Manchester are angered and outraged that they are supplying and funding a murderous machine who slaughter helpless victims,” he added.
Main image courtesy of David Holt, with thanks
Article image courtesy of Wikipedia, with thanks