More than a thousand people linked arms on Derry’s Peace Bridge this afternoon in a show of solidarity with the people of Gaza.
It had been feared the protest may have had to be cancelled after Ilex, the group responsible for the management and operation of the Peace Bridge, said no one had sought its permission to hold the event.
However, yesterday afternoon, organisers pressed ahead with their arm-link protest along the length of the Peace Bridge which drew in crowds from across the North West.
While there was no resistance to the protest, a new sign had been placed at the end of the bridge stating “inappropriate use of flags and emblems is prohibited”
Derry Anti War Coalition spokesman Eamonn McCann said he was delighted with the turnout.
“It exceeded our expectations,” he said. “What the size of the crowd indicates is the very broad and deep sense of outrage at what is happening in Gaza. It also represents a sense of human solidarity with the people of Gaza.”
Addressing the Ilex opposition to the protest, he said: “There is no suggestion that what we are doing here is illegal. It all went off peacefully and I don’t think anyone will have any complaints about the way the demonstration has been organised.”
Before the event, Eamonn McCann asked people to only carry flags relating to Palestine on to the bridge.
“We wanted to draw in as many people as possible,” he said. “There are thousands who are outraged at what is going on in Gaza but wouldn’t want to be associated with any particular political faction. We wanted to make it clear that what we are united about is simply solidarity with the Palestinian people.”