More than 200 parents and children took part in a ‘read-in outside the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday as part of a protest against Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza.

The event, organised by Parents For Palestine, was inspired by an action which first took place simultaneously in Gaza and the West Bank in 2014. Youth groups there organised ‘reading chains’ to learn about the history of Palestine and unify the segregated communities living under apartheid.

Palestine 2014 (Source: Parents For Palestine)

On the day of the 17th Feb national march for Palestine, attracting up to quarter of a million people, parents and carers gathered together with children and sat in the road outside the Royal Albert Hall, sharing poems and readings about Palestine.

As the march, which began at Marble Arch, approached, they stood to one side, and some joined in while others carried on talking, sharing food and creating art with community craft group Birds of Gaza.

Parents For Palestine have carried out several actions since the war on Gaza began, and their mission is to provide a safe environment for children to learn and understand the history of Palestine, aware that young people pick up on the grief and anger of their carers and offering a path for them to understand why.

The Royal Albert Hall was chosen because it was on the route of the march and near the end point at the Israeli embassy, but also because the building has a long association with British colonial history. The Balfour Declaration which paved the way for the Nakba of 1948 was celebrated there on the 100th anniversary in 2017 and Zionists held meetings there in the years following.

Parents For Palestine chose the space to hold a peaceful assembly, but it does not mean they are not angry, and it does not mean that they don’t see the UK’s complicity in the current genocide.