PROTESTS relating to recent events in Gaza passed peacefully yesterday, police said.

Hundreds of demonstrators met at Whalley Range, Blackburn, before making their way to Corporation Park for speeches.

Men, women and children joined in the march, which was organised by the Muslim Defence Council, carrying placards supporting the plight of the Palestinians.

Chants of “free, free Palestine” could be heard.

Road closures had been put in place along the route, which included Victoria Street, Barbara Castle Way, Exchange Street, Sudell Cross and Preston New Road, to ensure safety.

Once in the park, a speech was given by supporter Zaldire Kasim.

He said: “When the question of Palestine is raised, the heart speaks.

“The issue of Palestine is not just a Muslim issue – if you are a human, you feel the pain and the sorrow. Justice will only be done when every child in Palestine can go to school and learn without the fear of being killed and when the land of Palestine is given back to the Palestinians. We can have this march, and there were 10,000 people marching in London on Saturday, but the question is that after the march, what will you do to continue to help the people of Palestine?”

Neighbourhood manager Mansoor Akhtar said: “It was really peaceful and there was a really good atmosphere.

“The protest was well-observed and hopefully it will have raised the profile of the issue.”

A similar protest was also held outside the Town Hall, in Market Street, Nelson, with speakers from different faiths.