United Kingdom

Hundreds of protesters gather in York calling for ceasefire in Gaza

The protesters waved flags and held placards as they marched from St Helen’s Square through the city’s streets.

They chanted “free Palestine” and calls for a ceasefire.

Among those at the protest was York central MP Rachael Maskell who gave a speech to the crowd in St Helen’s Square.

York Press: Hundreds of protesters marched through York todayHundreds of protesters marched through York today (Image: Dylan Connell)

The Labour MP said: “Our world is breaking when we see the massacre which is happening in Gaza right now.”

Ms Maskell called on Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer to support calls for a ceasefire.

York Press: York central MP Rachael Maskell at the protestYork central MP Rachael Maskell at the protest (Image: Dylan Connell)

“We have all got a responsibility here to stand up and call for a ceasefire,” she said.

“Labour has got that responsibility, the Conservatives have got that responsibility, all have got that responsibility.

“I thank York and I thank you for being here and taking that responsibility and speaking up as I did in parliament and calling for a ceasefire.”

York Press: York central MP Rachael Maskell speaking at the protestYork central MP Rachael Maskell speaking at the protest (Image: Dylan Connell)

During her speech, Ms Maskell urged those in power to “humble themselves before our nation” and “listen to cries that this war must stop”.

She said hundreds of people have written to her with “crying pleas” asking her to step up and speak up.

“I couldn’t be anywhere but here with you today,” she told the crowd.

Carima Salameh, who described herself as a York born Palestinian, told the crowd that “nobody is safe from this genocide”.

York Press: Carima Salameh speaking at the protest in YorkCarima Salameh speaking at the protest in York (Image: Dylan Connell)

“My mother’s family in Gaza lost five sons and a mother and a father in the first week of fighting with the air strikes,” she said.  

Ms Salameh said more of her loved ones have been killed since the conflict first started.

People travelled from far and wide to attend the protest.

Holly Gooding and Heather Linnett travelled to York from Middlesbrough and Redcar for the demonstration.

York Press: Holly Gooding and Heather Linnett travelled to York from Middlesbrough and Redcar for the demonstrationHolly Gooding and Heather Linnett travelled to York from Middlesbrough and Redcar for the demonstration (Image: Dylan Connell)

Ms Linnett told The Press she attended to urge the Government to do more to call for a ceasefire.

“You have to show that the public aren’t complacent,” she said. “We don’t agree with this.”

Lolly Hernandez and Emily Hudges came to the protest from East Yorkshire.

York Press: Lolly Hernandez and Emily Hudges at the protest in YorkLolly Hernandez and Emily Hudges at the protest in York (Image: Dylan Connell)

“The way civilians (in Gaza) are being treated is appalling,” Ms Hernandez told The Press.

Ms Hudges added that they attend the protest to “show support for a ceasefire and support for peaceful and meaningful negotiations”.

Police officers were at the peaceful protest.

York Press: The protest in York city centreThe protest in York city centre (Image: Dylan Connell)

Ahead of the demonstration, a North Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: “A policing operation has been put in place to ensure the safety of members of the public including residents, visitors, local businesses and protestors.

“Anyone has the right to peaceful and lawful protest and the police service’s role is to ensure it passes peacefully and lawfully, while balancing it with the rights of others, seeking to minimise disruption and keep the public safe.”



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