Photo – ©2024 Sul Nowroz

Approximately sixty people gathered at the Colombian consulate in London on Friday evening in an act of solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for self-rule. The event was organised by Yonatan Mosquera and several other Latin American activists, who were welcomed by consulate staff.  

“If Palestine dies, humanity dies.”

Inside the consulate, proceedings got underway with a welcome by Mosquera, who played a short video of Colombian president Gustavo Petro’s May 2nd International Workers’ Day speech. In the now famous address Petro announced Colombia was cutting all diplomatic relations with Israel, and warned that humanity itself was at risk: “If Palestine dies, humanity dies, and we will not let it die.” Petro also acknowledged the millions around the world who have taken to the streets protesting against Israel’s murderous behaviour.  “They agree with us, and we agree with them” he said.

The video was followed by a haunting speech from Dr Shahd Hammouri, Lecturer in Law at the University of Kent and fellow at Al-Haq, a Palestinian non-governmental human rights organization based in Ramallah, in the West Bank. Hammouri delivered a piercing assessment of the genocide and the complete and absolute failure of western governments to uphold international law.  In Palestine, global “power relationships are laid bare” she concluded.  The room fell silent.

David Erdos, British writer, actor, son of a Hungarian emigrant and whose grandfather was killed by Nazis during World War II, addressed the group next. Erdos, who is Jewish and lives in London, told the gathering: “As someone who has direct familial connections to the Holocaust, what Israel has done today to Palestine denies any Jewish person ever talking about the Holocaust again.” Erdos finished by reading a poem, one he has written. It is about Israel’s destruction of Palestine and her people. “As bombs bounce and burn, there are those who would use that landmass to smother women, elders and children.”

Photo – ©2024 Sul Nowroz

Other speakers followed including Dr Miriam Palacios-Callender, retired researcher at Kings College London and Cuban revolutionary and activist. Palacios-Callender got a rousing applause from the crowd. She opened by thanking Mosquera for organising the evening’s solidarity gathering, which at the same time would be “educational.”

Palacios-Callender, a regular at London’s Ghazah ceasefire marches, was quick to join the imperial dots, calling out other territories being oppressed. She urged the meeting to support peace for the oppressed, and resist a peace that is solely for the oppressor. Palacios-Callender reminded the group “the best ally for peace is solidarity” and encouraged everyone to use the ceasefire marches to learn and grow by understanding each other’s injustices. She concluded by reminding the audience: “all oppressed are one.”

In wrapping up, Mosquera reinforced the horizontal struggle: “The Palestinian flag is my flag because it is where the struggle against imperialism and colonialism is playing out. Palestine will decide what kind of world we will live in.

©2024 Sul Nowroz – Real Media staff writer