Kolkata: Thousands of protesters with symbolic coffins of children killed by Israel in Palestine hit the streets of Kolkata with an appeal to end the ongoing genocide.
Friends of Palestine held a rally and convention in Kolkata on Friday to protest against the genocide being conducted by Israel in Palestine in general and Gaza in particular, where Hamas governs. The participants that gathered near Gandhi Statue, came from far flung sub-urban areas, also had a large number of women and children.
The protesters comprising Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Christians were seen holding holding either Indian or Palestinian flags or banners in solidarity with Palestine. Some young girls also carried symbolic coffins of children, wearing batches on their foreheads pledging solidarity with Palestine.
This demonstration was one among the several protests Kolkata has witnessed since Israel started war crimes in the midst of it’s conflict with Hamas.
“We have come to protest against Israel’s barbarism and genocide in Palestine. They (Israel) are using white phosphorus bombs in Gaza. So far over 3000 children have died. Thousands of women are also dying and getting injured,” said Sabiha Tabassum, while holding on to the symbolic coffin that she carried. She along with her female friends had traveled from Rajarhat to participate in the event.
“We came here to stop the war for a ceasefire in Palestine,” added Tabassum. While her friend reiterated, “Palestine should be free.”
The non-political rally, also had Trinamool Congress leader, Javed Khan as a participant. Khan, who is also minister in Mamata Banerjee’s cabinet called upon people to boycott Israeli and American products.
“It is good that a protest rally has taken place today against Israel’s barbarism. In the United Nations, more than 120 countries voted for a ceasefire but that did not stop Israel. So I doubt how much impact such rallies will have on them. But yes, if you boycott Israel and USA’s products, then it will surely affect them,” said the minister of Disaster Management and Civil Defence.
“Whether it is clothes, shoes or food items, boycott all foreign goods made in Israel and USA,” Javed Khan added.
Senior journalist and activist Abdul Aziz maintained that the ones who defend the homeland are freedom fighters and not terrorists. “Like Bhagat Singh, Subhash Chandra Bose, and Maulana Azad, the fighters of Hamas are also freedom fighters, not terrorists. They are fighting against two superpowers. Hamas has also won elections in two places in Palestine, including Gaza. The people who call them terrorists do not know the reality well,” said Abdul Aziz.
He also informed that a delegation would be handing over memorandum to the American Consulate, asking the American government to not support Israel in the on-going genocide.
Qari Fazlur Rahman, Convener of Friends of Palestine claimed, “Israelis are the most cruel and inhuman people, hence, they are not listening to anyone. They are devoid of any human feelings.”
“The war also proved that Israel is not unchallenged. Hamas attacks have broken the myth propagated by Israel that it cannot be touched,” added.
He urged Muslims to read their history and tell people why they are hitting the streets and carrying Palestinian flags.