“Exist, Resist, Return”. A global call for solidarity on Palestinian Land Day: a day which commemorates the unarmed protesters killed by the Israeli police and Defense Force in 1976, during demonstrations against Israel’s expropriation of Palestinian land. This year, March 30th also marked the first anniversary of the start of the Great Return March demonstrations: weekly mobilisations calling for the Right to Return for Palestinian refugees and an end to the twelve-year siege of Gaza. Over one six-week period these demonstrations saw more than 110 unarmed Palestinians killed by the Israeli Defence Forces. The rally on Saturday echoed the demands of the Great Return Marches, in calling for an end to the siege and that the state of Israel acknowledge International Law on the right of return. Speakers also rejected suggestions that criticism of Israel could be seen as ‘antisemitic’.
Behind police barriers a small counter-demonstration, under both Israeli and Brazilian flags, expressed their enduring support for the state of Israel, and their criticism of Hamas.