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South Shields Gaza Demo confronts Hutton & Miliband

Media Report | 26.01.2009 13:46 | Palestine

South Shields
Minister met by anti-war protesters
24 January 2009

DEFENCE Secretary John Hutton was met by angry anti-war campaigners when he visited South Tyneside last night.
Despite a ceasefire in Gaza, a demonstration about the conflict was organised by the South Tyneside Stop the War Coalition and the Tyneside Palestinian Solidarity Campaign.

Campaigners chanted, screamed and blew horns as South Shields MP David Miliband and Mr Hutton arrrived in a ministerial Jaguar at South Tyneside College just after 7pm last night.

They were attending a £15-a-head Labour Party function at the college, with the proceeds going to party funds.

Protesters, made up of members of the Socialist Worker party, the TUC union and Stop the War, among others, are calling on Mr Hutton to ensure that Britain doesn't supply or back the Israeli army.

Many guests, including councillors, were heckled as they went in, with Whiteleas and Parkway councillor Ernest Gibson taunted with sarcastic catcalls of "eat well".

Several members of the public also gathered to watch the protest.

Minutes before Mr Miliband arrived at the college from his constituency home nearby, extra police appeared at the scene, taking the number to around 20.

A handful of Special Branch officers stood behind those at the entrance to the college.

Phil Wilson, 23, from Newcastle said: "We're all here today to protest at the Government's policy on Palestine.

"Being able to protest at both David Miliband and John Hutton is great, it's killing two birds with one stone."

Anna Snowdon, from Boldon, said: "They should be condeming the Israeli Government, not supporting it.

"We are just as angry at Mr Miliband as we are towards John Hutton."

The majority of protesters left before 8pm. One said: "We're very cold and some of us have Metros and buses to catch."

In a joint statement, the campaign groups said: "The British Government should play its part in ensuring the continued existence of Palestinian Gaza, with a programme of sanctions against Israel in order to pursue a just and secure future for all Palestinians."

The protest is the second to be held in South Shields, after a gathering on the steps of South Shields Town Hall on Monday, January 12, for a peace rally.

Media Report


Display the following 3 comments

  1. Good, now about... — damn angry
  2. We won't pay for their crisis! — Anarchist
  3. Maybe right cause -- but wrong reason — MDN