Protests across West Yorkshire keep up pressure against war on Gaza

Socialist Party members from across West Yorkshire at the Leeds demonstration against the war on Gaza – photo Leeds & West Yorkshire Socialist Party

4/11/23 – Leeds – ‘we expect better’

Through the weekly demonstrations, the focus has moved to Labour and Keir Starmer. “We expect better”, a speaker said.

And the political awareness of demonstrators is growing as the demos go on. People are realising that Labour does not represent the working class anymore.

Mentions of socialism are met with cheers and applause. A Socialist Party member spoke at the demonstration, addressing how capitalism breeds conflicts, like the one in Gaza.

After the demonstration, 100 protesters moved to the train station for a sit-in. A constant stream of chants filled the station for over two hours.

Louie Fulton

Anti-war demo in Keighley – photo Iain Dalton

5/11/23 – Keighley – crowd chants over speech by Labour politician

Ahead of the demonstration of 1,000 people, local Tory MP Robbie Moore had attacked the organisers for holding the rally, much like the Tory government has done with demonstrations nationally.

There was huge anger at both the Tory government and the Labour Party leadership under Keir Starmer. Sections of the crowd chanted over the speech of the former Keighley Labour MP John Grogan. A number of people told us that they couldn’t vote for Labour anymore, given Starmer’s position.

I spoke at the rally on behalf of the Socialist Party. I pointed out how talk of ‘humanitarian pauses’ and ‘aid for Gaza’ from the likes of Sunak and Starmer only took place because of the hundreds of thousands who have protested across the UK.

I pointed out that war and crisis are synonymous with capitalism, and spoke of the desperate need for a political alternative that stands with the interests of working-class people in relation to ending the siege of Gaza, as well as supporting the fight for decent pay, housing and jobs.

At various stages our Socialist Party campaign stall was surrounded by those signing our petitions, taking leaflets and buying copies of the Socialist. When one person asked: “So what do we need to do to solve this crisis?” Another person chipped in: “Get rid of capitalism, that’s what”.

Iain Dalton

Socialist Party and Socialist Students members at Gaza demo 18th October – photo Louie Fulton

18/11/23 – Leeds: hopeful and demanding change

It brings me no joy to march with thousands of others in an attempt to sway our government towards what should be an obvious call for the end of the massacre in Gaza.

Chanting could be heard from across the street as I approached the demonstration.

It was overwhelming in the best way – saddened by the situation that gathered us all together, but hopeful from the sense of community and demand for change.


Huddersfield Gaza demonstration – photo Iain Dalton

19/11/23 – Huddersfield – heavy rain can’t drown out anger over Gaza

Driving wind and rain didn’t stop 200 people turning out in Huddersfield on Sunday 19 November, to express their anger at the ongoing seige of Gaza. Even the sound system breaking down didn’t stop the rally as we loaned the organisers a Socialist Party megaphone.

Despite parliament voting down the ceasefire amendment on Wednesday, many felt the sacking of Suella Braverman showed the demonstrations were having an impact – but that many more of the Tories, blue and red, needed to go too.

I got big cheers when I spoke from the platform and I raised the need to stand workers candidates to challenge political representatives who won’t stand up for the interests of local people, whether on Gaza or the issue of cuts to council services.

Iain Dalton

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