I WAS in the march in London on Saturday (November 11) with hundreds of thousands of people calling on the government to demand a ceasefire. I do wish that Stephen Dawson (Craven Herald letters, November 9) had been there with us to discover what he either misunderstands or ignores.

There were placards pointing out that the violence, horrific as it was, didn’t begin on October 7th this year. For the last 75 years Palestinians lives have been controlled by the violence and threat of violence by the state of Israel, its army and the illegal settlers it supports.

They have constantly resisted by every peaceful means they can think of and have as constantly been met with violence. We hear from young men from Gaza, cyclists determinedly training for the para-olympics, shot in the knee by Israeli soldiers firing on their peaceful protests at the border with Israel. Many had seen dear friends or brothers killed in those protests. Over 240 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli army and settlers this year alone up to October 7.

There were placards reminding us that Gaza has been under siege since 2005, making it difficult or impossible to import the basic means of life – clean water, building materials, medical equipment and drugs or to move in or out of the blockade. Stephen’s idea that they could have become a second Singapore is a cruel fantasy.

There were Jewish people on the march, some proudly carrying placards with messages such as ‘Jews against genocide. Not in our name’, some in their distinctive huge beaver hats and black satin coats protesting that Zionism has no place in Jewish values or traditions. Jews who clearly felt safe and comfortable marching for peace and justice in huge crowd of people of all faiths and none.

There were banners linking Remembrance remembering of the dead with the current massacre in Palestine; others declared ‘This is a Love March’.

We were not there to celebrate any kind of violence. What united us all was the passionate belief that the slaughter of Palestinians, with about a hundred dying on the day we marched, has to stop.

That our government through its close links with Israel has the power to help stop the bombings. And then to pressure its ally to negotiate the freedom for Palestinians that is the only route to safety for Israelis as well.

Annie Neligan