The camp came to a dignified close today with supporters chalking messages of solidarity in front of the town hall where Lena and Sahar have been camping out.
“We were overwhelmed with love” said Sahar, urging people of Sheffield to keep the pressure on the government and the council and “keep fighting for Palestine”.
The day started with a moving tribute to the journalists and media workers who have been killed as members of the NUJ read out their names. Shortly after over 300 people attended a rally, having marched from Ellesmere Green in a mood of celebration for the camp, defiance against continued lack of local action and anger at the complicity of the government.
The rally was visually stunning with the huge Palestinian flag being carried by supporters and held aloft throughout. Followed by speeches from Sahara, Lena, Musheir – chair of Sheffield PSC – and others, the crowd celebrated the achievement of Lena and Sahar and all their supporters. A team effort!
Sahar congratulated the achievement of South Africa in taking Israel to the ICJ and Lena told a parable from her childhood warning of efforts to divide us and conquer. “We are all human” she said “and must fight for freedom together”.
There is an imperative not to lose the energy of this camp nor the wide support that has emerged as a result of it.
Tere is a meeting between the Coalition and the council on Friday 19th January. A key issue will be what is the council going to do now.
We continue to demand a declaration of an Israeli apartheid free zone and some political leadership and bravery here.
On 20th January after a ‘bigride4 Palestine’ across town, there will be a rally at the Town Hall followed by a meeting meeting for school students in the Central United Reform Church 1.30 – across from the Crucible Theatre
This wil be an opportunity for school students to find out about ways of supporting Palestinians, inside and outside school. Refreshments will be provided – all welcome. (Interested parents are welcome too!)