Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters rallied in London, Paris and Berlin on Saturday calling for a ceasefire in Gaza after Iranians took to the streets against the United States and Israel.
– 30,000 protesters in London –
Amid ongoing bombardments by Israel after the deadly Hamas attack on its territory last month killed 1,400 people, the British capital saw a large turnout in support of Palestinians for the fourth consecutive week.
Israel’s bombing campaign since the October attack by Hamas has killed nearly 9,500 people, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in the Gaza Strip.
Police estimated that about 30,000 attended the rally in Trafalgar Square, central London.
They said it had arrested 11 people, including one for displaying a placard that could incite hatred.
Many protesters waved Palestinian flags and held placards calling for an immediate ceasefire.
One group carried a bundle of fabric, representing a dead baby killed during the Israeli bombing campaign.
Sama Dababneh, 26, a Jordanian business consultant said she was tired of all upsetting images from Gaza.
“We came here to support the ceasefire,” she said. “We spend the whole week consuming the news and this is very draining, so this is our only form of outlet.”
Pro-Palestinian protests also took place in cities across the United Kingdom on Saturday, including in Sheffield, Manchester and Glasgow.
– ‘Free Palestine’ calls in Paris –
French authorities said 19,000 people demonstrated in Paris, while the CGT communist-led trade union put the numbers at 60,000.
“Free Palestine” placards proliferated in the French capital, where slogans were heard calling for a boycott of Israel along with shouts of “Israel terrorist state”.
Legal assistant Leila Gharbi, aged 46, held a Palestinian flag and demanded “an immediate ceasefire”.
Her 21-year-old student daughter Ines wanted “the barbary to stop”.
Retired 75-year-old Algerian Keltoum Alouache said she turned out “for the children of Gaza and Palestine”.
Around forty other demonstrations were called across France, with 5,000 people turning out in the city of Lyon, according to a police estimate.
– Children and families on Berlin streets –
Berlin and Duesseldorf also saw thousands march in solidarity with the Palestinians.
Many protesters came with their families and children.
“Stop genocide” and “Ceasefire” were emblazoned on placards and Palestinian flags were carried aloft.
German police estimated the crowd at 17,000 in Duesseldorf and 9,000 in the capital Berlin, where some 60 arrests were made including on suspicion of incitement to hatred.
Several placards playing down the Holocaust were confiscated.
– ‘Down with USA’ in Iran –
In Tehran, demonstrators gathered in front of the former US embassy chanting “Down with USA” and “Down with Israel”.
They set ablaze an effigy of Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu as well as the US and Israel flags in front of flag-waving crowds.
The demonstrations come on the Islamic republic’s “day of the fight against global arrogance”.
November 4 marks the day Iranians attacked the US embassy in 1979 and the taking of 52 American diplomats as hostages, which lasted 444 days.
Iran, which backs Hamas, has labelled the Israeli bombardment of Gaza “genocide” and lambasted Washington for its strong support of Israel.
– Biden denounced at Washington protest –
Thousands of protesters in the US capital Washington called for a ceasefire in Gaza, with some slamming President Joe Biden’s support for Israel.
It was the largest protest in Washington since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas conflict on October 7.
“This is a massacre, a genocide… a stain on our history, and I cannot accept as a citizen that my taxes are funding this,” said 24-year-old Amanda Eisenhour of Virginia.
– Pakistan traders out in force –
In Lahore, Pakistani traders took to the streets in large numbers holding Palestinian flags and placards saying “Save Gaza”.
– Senegal too –
Outside the grand mosque in Senegal’s capital Dakar, some 200 people gathered to support the Palestinians.
“I’m not here as an Arab or a Muslim,” said Farida Samane. “I’m here as a human.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)