Hundreds join city centre protest

Demonstration in Preston's Flag Market
Demonstration in Preston's Flag Market
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Hundreds of people joined a peaceful protest in the city centre against the ongoing military action in Gaza.

Crowds gathered in Preston’s Flag Market for the Peace for Palestine demonstration, organised by charity Children of the Ghetto.

Campaigners, families and politicians joined the protest on Saturday, with the turnout described as “tremendous” by protest leaders.

Children of the Ghetto chairman Mukhtar Master said: “I think it’s a fantastic turnout for a Saturday evening, particularly with the Muslim community fasting for Ramadan as well.

“It’s a tremendous turnout and it really shows the strength of feeling and solidarity that people have with the issues that Gaza is facing.

“We’re here because we couldn’t just sit back and let the Israelis carry out collective punishment against the Gazan people. We needed to make a difference and express our democratic right to demonstrate and show the people of Preston and wider afield that we care about what’s happening in the Middle East and Gaza.”

Preston’s MP Mark Hendrick said: “The world seems to be oblivious to what’s happening and, given that President Obama and Mr Cameron are coming towards the end of their terms of office, it seems the international community no longer cares.

“Millions of people around the world, including here in Preston, do care and that’s why we are here to demonstrate.”

Coun Anis Faruki, who was also at the protest, said: “We are here specifically to flag up the situation where innocent Palestinians are being basically butchered, with more than 100 killed in the last couple of days.

“This is the show of strength from the Muslim community in Preston and I’m pleased to be here and pleased to offer my support. It’s not just a Muslim cause, it’s a human cause.”