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Voices From the Protests

We've attended several Palestine marches. In relation to some of the negative reactions to the protests in the UK press and by the Government, I thought it would be interesting to capture some of the voices of people there.


I took a Zoom H6 recorder to the marches, with the aim of capturing some of the perspectives of people attending. There has been a concerted effort by the UK government and their supporters in the press to portray the demonstrations as anti Semitic 'hate marches', despite there being a increasingly large and visible Jewish Bloc on all of the demonstrations.

The first 2 recordings, dated January and March 2024 feature mostly people talking about why they attended and wider comment on freedom to protest ' the later one's are predominantly soundscapes, capturing chants, music and incidental sounds, with occasional comments from protesters.

Corresponding photo galleries are below.


Saturday 18th May, 2024, London, Nakba Day

The National March for Palestine on 18th May 2024, to commemorate the Nakba. The first part of the recording is before the demonstration started moving, near a group of medical workers, with a young woman speaking on a megaphone about Nakba and the current situation in Gaza, then mostly soundscapes as the demonstration moved towards Whitehall. The only aggression I've seen on any of the marches has been from counter protests, there was a smaller counter demonstration today, (some images are included in the galleries below), with placards accusing the demonstrators on the Palestine march of being ISIS and rape supporters. In the context that the Palestine march includes a large number of Muslim people, I'd say that comparing it to proscribed terrorist groups or acts (the Manchester bombing on one sign) is racist and a hate crime.

The demonstration finished in Whitehall, although many sat in Trafalgar Square, where there was an event by the Sri Lankan Tamil community, commemorating 15 years since the end of the civil war and also the genocide committed there. Coincidentally as with the Palestine situation, there are also connections to the British Empire. As always the march was hugely diverse, with a sizeable Jewish Bloc, and people from many backgrounds representing the UK (69% now want an immediate cease fire)


Saturday 27th April, 2024, London

A week after the Gideon Falter 'openly Jewish' incident, which gained wide press coverage and further attempts by him, some in the UK Gov and media to demonise the demonstrations, we attended the National March for Palestine from Parliament Square to Hyde Park. On this occasion we were near the front of the march, for a while with the Jewish Bloc. Following the previous weeks events, numerous people carried 'Openly Jewish' placards.

There were lots of groups with drums and percussion, leading chants along the way. As always the march was hugely diverse, with people from a wide range of religious and ethnic backgrounds, age and where they'd travelled from around the UK. We met people from North Wales, Cardiff, Leeds, Nottingham, Bristol across the UK, and fair few people who were visiting London and decided to join for a while.

As the march neared Hyde Park, some people unfolded banners over the statue of Achilles, memorial to the Duke of Wellington, a huge symbol of colonialism. A group of police asked them to remove the banners, but after a few chants of 'show your human side' decided to leave them alone. Later in the day, after the main event had finished, a group gathered in Hyde Park, singing and chanting, for a while the police surrounded the group, mostly just observing and eventually deciding to step back. I made soundscape recordings of the day, this time as we were in the noisier front section of the march, it's mostly chants and atmosphere, with one guy from the Jewish Bloc speaking around 5 minutes in.

Some of the groups on the Jewish Bloc


Saturday March 9th National March For Palestine, London, UK.

A short soundscape, capturing some of the protest for Palestine. Set against the backdrop of the UK Gov and some of the media calling the marches 'Hate marches'. Also includes the thoughts of some Jewish activists and academics we met on the march.


Saturday, January 13th National March For Palestine, London, UK.

10 people spoke, from a wide variety of backgrounds and life experiences. I didn't ask anyone about how they identify, but 2 people said straight away they were Jewish. Some talked about prejudices they had faced in life and the need to stand against a decline in global ethics. The recordings are in the order they were made, with no editing. There was no criteria for asking people, just anyone stood nearby, when the march wasn't too loud. The day was peaceful and attended by people from all over the UK.

The first 6 minutes are people speaking, followed by roughly 10 minutes of soundscape from the demo. The march finished at Trafalgar Square, a short walk from Downing Street. The final couple of minutes are the bells of Westminster Abbey, as we walked away at the end of the day, passing through statues and buildings constructed at the heart of the British Empire, one can't help be be reminded of that empire's lasting legacy.

The first national march was held on 15th October. The then UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman branded the marches as 'hate marches' as did parts of the UK press.

As of December 30, 2023 ⁠Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor⁠ estimated Gaza Strip civilian deaths at 27,681.

On 30 October, ⁠Save the Children⁠ reported more children had died in three weeks in Gaza than in the entire sum of conflicts around the world in the past four years.


19th May, Brighton 2024

The community march, included ribbons, bearing the names of Palestinian children, ages 0 - 5 years old who have been killed by Israeli military action in Gaza. There are 1200 ribbons.

On the 20th May, the International Criminal Court issued applications for the arrest of both Israeli and Hamas leaders for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

18th May, 2024, London, Nakba Day