The WSWS will be reporting on demonstrations throughout the weekend. Check back for the latest updates.
For the second weekend in row, millions of people on every inhabited continent have taken to the streets to oppose the genocide against the Palestinian people by Israel, supported by the major imperialist governments. In many cases, protests were much larger this weekend than those held a week ago.
Demonstrations have erupted in the wake of the communications blackout, intensified bombing and beginning of the ground invasion of Gaza by the Israel Defense Forces on Friday. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Saturday the military campaign had “moved to a new phase.” In a subsequent television address, IDF Chief of the General Staff Herzi Halevi confirmed, “This war has stages, and today we are moving to the next stage. Our forces are currently operating on the ground in the Gaza Strip.”
Following the severing of communication by IDF attacks, it has become nearly impossible to get reliable data on the number of human beings being slaughtered. The latest figures from the Gaza Ministry of Health reveal that at least 7,703 Palestinians, roughly half of them children, have been killed by IDF forces since October 7.
Given that every major hospital in Gaza is on the brink of collapse and at risk of running out of power at any moment, this horrible figure is no doubt a severe undercount.
Israeli warplanes and artillery continue to pummel Gaza. Some 300,000 residents north of Wadi Gaza, including those trying to survive in the Al Shati Refugee camp, were bombarded with flyers from Israeli warplanes on Saturday warning them that “Gaza” including “shelters in the Gaza Strip” were “unsafe.”
“You must evacuate immediately and head to the areas south of Wadi Gaza,” the IDF flyer warned.
Israeli war crimes, overseen and directed by the Pentagon, have provoked mass outrage among broad sections of the world’s population, regardless of age or ethnicity.
Topping last week’s mass demonstration, an estimated half a million people flooded Westminster Bridge in London on Saturday.
At the same time, hundreds of pro-Palestinian supporters held a peaceful mass sit-in calling for an end to the war at Waterloo Station, the busiest railway station in the UK.
A massive demonstration, encompassing hundreds of thousands of people, was held in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. Protesters marched to the US embassy where they denounced the United States and Israel.
In Istanbul, Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was obliged to transform what was originally slated to be a centenary celebration of the creation of the Turkish state, into a mass pro-Palestine protest dubbed the “Great Palestine Meeting.” An estimated 1 million people attended the rally, with many wearing headbands that read, “We are all Palestinians,” and “End the genocide, let the children live.”
In Europe, hundreds of thousands of people attended demonstrations in Glasgow and Edinburgh, Scotland; Paris, France; Stockholm, Sweden and hundreds of other cities.
Some 4,000 people in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, marched on the streets Saturday chanting, “We don’t want your bloody war, free, free Palestine.”
Over 3,000 protesters in Jakarta, Indonesia marched on the US embassy on Saturday demanding an end to US support for the war, prompting the deployment of 1,000 security forces.
Protests are being held in cities throughout the United States, which the WSWS will be covering live throughout the weekend.
Thousands of supporters of Jewish Voice for Peace occupy Grand Central Station in New York City to protest genocide in Gaza
On Friday evening, a mass action of civil disobedience by thousands of supporters of the organization Jewish Voice for Peace shut down Grand Central Station in Manhattan to protest the escalating genocide against Gaza. The NYPD arrested several of the protesters, but thousands then gathered outside.
Chants included, “Biden Biden you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
The demonstration showed widespread pro-Palestinian sympathies among the public, including Jewish workers and youth, who packed the main floor of the terminal during rush hour.
“This is an impending genocide,” another protester from South Africa said. “This is worse than apartheid, what’s happening now… I hope everything gets shut down. I hope we heed all the calls from the Palestinians [for strike action by workers]. I don’t see any other way we’ll stop the genocide that is happening.”
“I’m an American Jew, and I can’t stand to see genocide committed in our name,” another protester said. She said that many Jews in the US and in Israel felt the same way. “Unfortunately our voices are smaller, and we are not given the same platform as Zionist Jews, and that’s why it’s incredibly important that we are here today and show up and show the world that not all Jews feel like Zionists do.”
“Zionism is, and always has been, an antisemitic ideology,” another protester told the WSWS, adding, “We want to live in peace and security with Palestinians.”
Louisiana college students hold protest at Tulane University denouncing Israel’s genocidal war against Gaza
On Thursday, students at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, held a rally Thursday in support of the Palestinian people. Students from Loyola University, which is adjacent to Tulane, also attended.
Despite pressure from the university, including one-sided statements from Tulane’s President Michael Fitts denouncing Hamas’ “terrorist attacks” and multiple pro-Zionist articles in the student newspaper, over 100 people participated in the protest.
Prior to the rally, Jewish and Muslim student organizers issued an open letter to the university in which they demanded the university denounce Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian people, divest from Israel, and condemn instances of Islamophobia against Arab and Muslim students.
A group of Zionists counter-protested the rally. At least two people were arrested during an altercation that broke out between the groups. Tulane University responded by saying it is increasing campus security, as well as discouraging students from participating in further protests that are not officially sanctioned.
Reporters from the World Socialist Web Site attended the rally and spoke to several students.
Colette, a student from Loyola, said that she attended the rally “to show that Loyola as a whole but also me as a person, are proudly anti-genocide. You have to make the choice to actively condemn the actions and the harm that’s going on. It’s innocent Palestinian lives, an invasion of their homes. You have to actively condemn that.”
Speaking on Biden’s support for Israel she said, “As Americans we should be ashamed in our federal government, in our military, to back this. I come from a military family but this is purely shameful. This pushes capitalism, it pushes revenue. It pushes sociopolitical agendas over human lives.”
A call to the working class and youth: Stop the imperialist-Zionist genocide in Gaza!
Israel, with the support of all the imperialist powers in the US-NATO axis, is carrying out a genocide in Gaza.
A genuine mass movement is developing in response to the war crimes being committed against the Palestinian people. Spontaneous protests erupted on Friday in the West Bank, Turkey, Jordan, Tunisia and other countries. In New York City, hundreds of members of Jewish Voice for Peace shut down Grand Central Station. This follows protests involving millions over the past week, and demonstrations are being held throughout the world this weekend.
This movement must be developed and expanded. The World Socialist Web Site, which is published by the International Committee of the Fourth International, calls for strikes and other protest actions by the working class in every country. We urge the organization of mass demonstrations in every city and emergency solidarity protests by college and high school students.
We call for the development of protests and demonstrations within Israel itself. Its soldiers, many of whom are reservists, should defy – as is required under international law – the criminal orders of the Netanyahu regime and the military general staff.
There is no time to lose. Action to stop the war must not be subordinated to the political maneuvers of capitalist governments, whose verbal protests against Israeli atrocities are aimed at deflecting and maintaining control over the emerging mass movement. Opposition to Israel’s crimes must be rooted in the international working class, using the powerful weapon of a general political strike in solidarity with the Palestinian people.