Around 200 people took part in protests in support of Palestine on Saturday in the centre of Manchester.
Protesters gathered despite torrential pouring rain. After speeches and music, they marched down Market Street, the main shopping street in central Manchester, accompanied by legal observers.
Protesters halted outside the Market Street branch of Barclays Bank, which operates in Israel and is listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. After more speeches and chants of “shame on you, Barclays,” most of the demonstrators, joined by passers-by, occupied both floors of the bank. After about 20 minutes of peaceful protest and chanting, they filed out to applause and carried on down Market Street.
Tesco – who sell products from illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank – had shut their doors, so demonstrators continued to Schuh. This chain of shoe shops sell boots with the Caterpillar brand – Caterpillar sells bulldozers to the Israeli army.
Finally, protesters arrived at Manchester’s huge branch of Marks and Spencers, a company with a long track record of support for Israel. They gathered in the centre of the store, holding placards and Palestine flags as they rode on the escalators, and draping flags over handrails.
Most passers-by were supportive of the demonstration and the Palestinian people.
Picture: Steve Spy