The protest rally last night in front of the Council House went very well. I'm bad at estimating numbers, but it entirely filled the area just across from the Council House, the corner of Earl Street and Little Park Street.
Dave Nellist co-ordinated the speakers list, and spoke at the beginning and end.
The very first speaker was Manal Timraz, the owner of Habibi restaurant on Far Gosford. She spoke of losing 15 members of her family, with three dozen more still unaccounted/unable to be contacted. She's coordinating the One Million Candles appeal for assistance to send to Gaza. You can read more about it, as she updates the campaign, here.
I was about 7th on the speakers list, the first time I was using a megaphone, the first time speaking to a crowd that large. There were speakers from the Coventry TUC, Farid Noor from WATCH, two students from Cov Uni, two young nurses from the Muslim community, a speaker from the Muslim Resource Centre, a Labour councillor, a Tory councillor, and Rob Windsor (the other Socialist on the council).
There will be an organising meeting, to create a Coventry solidarity committee for Gaza, tonight at St Peter's Community Centre in Hillfields.
Coaches will be going to a regional demonstration in Birmingham on Saturday morning (coaches leaving the Muslim Resource Centre, Red Lane, CV6, 5EE, at 10am, for a 12pm demo in Victoria Square, Brum).
Other things to read:
- Arab political parties are being banned from taking part in the February election in Israel
- Economic activity in Gaza has ground to a halt
- Israel strikes 60 targets in Gaza on the 18th day of the conflict
- A clinic providing free primary health care in Gaza has been destroyed
- Human Rights Watch on the use of white phosphorous in Gaza
- Muslim parliamentarians warn of the anger in British Muslim communities
- The Israeli government's attitude towards UN resolutions