University of Sheffield’s Palestine society holds protest in Sheffield city centre

The protest was jointly organised by the University of Sheffield’s Palestine society and Sheffield Palestine solidarity campaign

A man climbed Sheffield City Hall last Tuesday as part of a protest hosted by the University of Sheffield’s Palestine society and Sheffield Palestine solidarity campaign. The man took down an Israeli flag from the building, and replaced it with a Palestinian flag.

Tuesday’s protest began after UoS’ Palestine society announced an “emergency protest” in response to the current escalation in the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The protest was attended by a number of other groups including members of the socialist party, and Unite the Union.

Later in the afternoon, the protestors moved to Sheffield City Hall, where a man climbed the building, and removed an Israeli flag, replacing it with a Palestinian one.

Last Saturday, fighters from the Gaza-based terrorist group Hamas launched large-scale incursions into southern Israel killing almost 1000 Israeli civilians and taking hostages, including a number of foreign nationals.

Israel has responded by blockading the Gaza Strip, and launching airstrikes within Gaza.

A number of speakers, including students from the university of Sheffield’s Palestine Society addressed the crowd, leading chants of “free, free Palestine” and “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”. One speaker called for “the overthrow of the Israeli state”.

Leader of Sheffield City Council, Cllr Tom Hunt said in a statement, published on “Everyone has the right to safe and peaceful protest but we cannot support the events that took place during the protest outside Sheffield’s Town Hall. Protestors put themselves and others in serious danger. We are a City of Sanctuary, and this is not what we stand for.

“There are strong feelings about the situation in Israel and Palestine but we ask everyone to show respect and tolerance at this time. Our thoughts are with all those affected, including here in the UK. Terrorism is never justified. We call for peace and an end to attacks on innocent men, women and children in Israel and Palestine.”

Over the past week, government organisations around the UK have shown their support for Israel, by flying the Israeli flag, or projecting it onto buildings.

There have also been similar protests and rallies in support of the Palestinian cause. 

The Israeli flag has been projected onto 10 Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament. This has been replicated around the world, with the Eiffel Tower in Paris being lit up in blue and white in support of Israel.

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