Around 400 people have gathered in the centre of Cardiff on Saturday afternoon as part of a national demonstration for Palestine.Organised by the Cardiff Palestine Solidarity Campaign (CPSC), the protest is to show support for Palestinians in light of the Israeli government’s bombing of Gaza this month.Campaigners condemned the airstrikes which killed 200 Palestinians - including 59 children - in the region. The attacks also saw a further 12 people killed by rockets from Gaza directed at Israel.The peaceful gathering in the Welsh capital, outside the new BBC building in Central Square, was attended by people holding placards reading "End Israeli state terror" and "Save Palestine, Save Gaza".
There was a sizeable police presence with around 20 officers from South Wales Police stationed around the square and four police vans parked up.
Chants of "One, two, three, four, occupation no more, five, six, seven, eight, Israel is a terrorist state" rang out in between impassioned speeches from various campaigners.Mohammed Hadia, one of the organisers, read out the names of the Palestinian children who died in the airstrikes under Israeli occupation and said: "This was not a war on terrorism. This was a war on children, on human rights, on justice."His speech was followed by a moment of silence for those that had died in Gaza in the last 11 days before more chanting struck up saying: "Palestine will be free" and "BBC, shame on you".
The movement believes media outlets have misreported events from Palestine and Mr Hadia told the crowd: "Media outlets like the BBC have manipulated the truth. Today you guys are sending out a clear message - we are the voices of the truth. From now on, we are the media. Make sure you are sharing, writing and educating, fight forPalestine on social media."
Mohammed Al Hadj Ali, chairman of the Syrian Welsh society, also gave a speech and said: “We have heard about more than 1,600 airstrikes on Gaza Strip that killed at least 243 people, among them 100 children and women."Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen 200 residential units demolished completely. These are not military bases, these are places where people, women and children live. This cannot continue."
The solidarity movement pledges to continue protesting until the Palestinian people "enjoy their birth right, freedom, justice, and equality."
Saturday's demo follows a vigil outside the Senedd earlier in the week while a larger protest is planned for Saturday afternoon outside Embankment station in London.
After the speeches people began marching through the streets of Cardiff, making their way down Wood Street and on to St Mary Street.
Red and green flare sticks were lit as the march made it way up St John Street and onto Working Street while protestors continued to chant.