In response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, a peaceful protest is scheduled to take place on Saturday, November 11, 2023, at Castle Square, Haverfordwest. The demonstration will assemble at 2pm.

Organised by Stop the War Coalition Pembrokeshire, Solidarity with Palestine Pembrokeshire and the Palestinian Refugee Project, there will be a rally on Castle Square where speeches will be heard from local residents, campaigners and trade unionists. 

The rally will be followed by a peaceful march to Stephen Crabb MP’s office where a vigil will be held aiming to draw attention to the urgent need for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, where over 10,000 lives have been tragically lost in what organisers describe as “incessant and indiscriminate bombings by the Israeli army.“

The organisers say: “Aimed at focusing on the 4,000+ children who have been tragically killed in Gaza in the last month, we invite attendees to bring children’s dolls, old shoes, footballs, toy cars and babygrows.“

Organisers say the protest seeks to raise its voice to call upon local Members of Parliament and the government to demand an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, and to urge Israel to “lift the siege that has deprived the people of Gaza of essential resources such as medical supplies, food, electricity, and water.”

“These actions by Israel are a clear violation of international law,” they say, and the protesters demand accountability and justice. 

Sajida Madni, representing the local mosque, expressed her perspective on the matter, saying, “There is a call from the government to ban these protests on Armistice Day. Those who laid down their lives for our freedom and democracy during the wars would want us to stand up for innocent civilians caught in this relentless assault on Gaza. We believe that there is nothing more fitting on Armistice Day than to advocate for an armistice!” 

A spokesperson from Stop the War Pembrokeshire told us: “It is vital that as a county we make it abundantly clear to our elected representatives in Parliament that they do not speak for us if they advocate the current genocide being inflicted on the people of Palestine by Israel. Sadly we have seen in recent weeks that Stephen Crabb has called for such escalations of violence. Crabb’s voting record on social domestic issues gives us little promise of his moral fibre but surely even he can see that the killing of innocent people in Gaza, thousands of them children, is a war crime and is nothing short of murder. We urge Stephen Crabb to ‘dig deep’ and to find this moral compass and join our calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.”

Patrick Connellan from the Solidarity with Palestine Pembrokeshire group said: 

“The genocidal indiscriminate bombing of Palestinians in Gaza, including 1000s children, carried out by Israel and supported by the US and U.K., must stop immediately. We call on our local MP Stephen Crabb to see sense and stop backing the apartheid state of Israel. Nothing can justify the collective punishment of a people. Shamefully, the leader of the Labour Party, Keir Starmer, is also backing the killing. They must listen to the 76% of the British public who demand a ceasefire.”

Gavin Sharp, Pembrokeshire branch secretary of the National Education Union (NEU) echoed the National NEU latest statement saying:

“We are distressed and alarmed by the rising death toll of Palestinian civilians, particularly children, caused by Israel's ongoing bombardment of Gaza. We call on the UK government and wider community to work for an immediate ceasefire and ongoing peace settlement that secures the release of Israeli hostages, ends the bombardment of Gaza, and restores the flow of vital humanitarian aid, including food, fuel and medical supplies into Gaza.”

Protestors intend to pay their respects and participate in Armistice Day events before gathering at 2pm at Castle Square. Their message is one of peace, compassion, and a call for an end to the suffering in Gaza. 

Weekly vigils have been taking place in Haverfordwest at 7pm on Castle Square every Friday since the attacks on Gaza began and are expected to continue until calls for a ceasefire are answered.

All details of Saturday's demonstration can be found at the Facebook event.