The East Lancashire branch of Stop the War Coalition is holding another demonstration and march in Rawtenstall this weekend.

The demonstration has been organised in reaction to the ongoing situation between Israel and Palestine, with Stop the War Coalition’s East Lancashire contingent demanding an immediate ceasefire, calling for an end to the fighting in Gaza and Rafa, as well an end to the bombing in Yemen.

It follows a similar demonstration held last month where around 300 people marched on Rawtenstall in support of the people of Palestine and demanded Rossendale and Darwen MP Sir Jake Berry back a Gaza ceasefire.

A spokesperson for the East Lancashire branch of Stop the War Coalition said: “The people of East Lancashire demand an immediate ceasefire now, to stop the genocide in Gaza and Rafa and to stop bombing Yemen.

“Last Saturday, we marched on the Israeli Embassy in London. 

“We want a ceasefire now that is permanent, not weasel words from Keir Starmer. 

“We need to keep the pressure on; that means near where you live this Saturday.

“East Lancashire Stop the War Coalition has called a big demo and march from Rawtenstall Market to Haslingden Memorial Gardens, starting at 1.15pm.

“Please attend and support this.”

The march will begin at 1.15pm on Saturday, February 24.

Those wishing to attend are advised to use public transport with the 464 bus running every 15 minutes from Manchester Road, Haslingden, back to Rawtenstall.

There will be a number of guest speakers in attendance who will address the demonstrators at the end of the march in Haslingden Memorial Gardens.

They include:

  • Peter Billington from Lancashire Association of Trade Unions
  • David Vickers from Manchester Jewish Action for Palestine
  • Kamran Shah on behalf of the community and Rossendale & Hyndburn Palestine Solidarity vigils
  • Penny Hicks from Stop the War Coalition

There will also be music from singer-songwriter and activist, Gerry O'Gorman.

There have been several similar protests across East Lancashire since the fighting in Gaza began and, in January, more than 200,000 took to the streets of London calling for a ceasefire.

On October 7, Hamas carried out an attack in Israel, killing around 1,200 people and taking hostages. Since then, Israel has killed 24,000, according to the Gaza health ministry, and injured more than 50,000, many of them women and children.

Many pro-Palestine supporters also claim Israel has killed and kidnapped thousands in the "occupied lands" over a 75-year period.

Since then, the UK and US have carried out air strikes against Houthi bases in Yemen.

The Iran-backed rebel group has repeatedly targeted commercial shipping in the Red Sea in the wake of Israel’s war against Hamas following the October 7 attack.

You can sign the Coalition’s open letter to Sir Jake Berry here: