Protests erupted in Bristol in response to BBC bias reporting of attacks on Palestinians

Bristolians protesting outside the BBC building on Whiteladies Road in Bristol
Yesterday, 10th July, thirty to forty people protested outside the BBC building on Whiteladies Road, objecting to the biased reporting on Palestine. The protest was organised by Palestine Societies at Bristol and UWE universities. There was over an hour of noise and spirited chanting, massive banners, a poster & sellotape action on their front door, and mysteriously a pair of Palestine flags appeared on the flag poles above their entrance! See brief report and pictures on www.facebook.com/bristol.psc

It has been circulated that the protest outside the BCC will reoccur between 6.00 and 7.00pm on Friday evening when an even greater crowd is expected and protests will continue into the weekend when campaigners will picket Sainsbury’s supermarkets across the city. This action will start outside Sainsbury’s 46-56 Queens Road (The Triangle) Clifton, BRISTOL, BS8 1RE. Supporters will bring banners, flags, placards, drums, music etc and promised a big, noisy, and visible protest. It is expected the picket may turn into an impromptu march, first to the BBC and then other Sainsbury’s supermarkets across the city.

Bristol Universities students participated in the protest

Bristol Universities students participated in the protest

“Many people in Bristol have links with Palestine and keep in touch through email and facebook. They know the truth of the horrific attacks on Gaza and the brutal suppression happening right now in the West Bank. They know the BBC are biasing their reporting and are rightly angry. They find it unacceptable that shops and supermarkets are stocking goods from Israel – money made from these exports are helping fund the Israeli war machine which is threatening or killing their friends.” Said Ed Hill chair of the Bristol Palestine Solidarity Campaign
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Bristol has a long history of links with Palestine. From peace campaigners to faith groups, from football teams to circus performers to Banksy, many Bristolians have visited Palestine. Following the attacks on Gaza in winter 2008/9 a group Bristol-Gaza-Link was formed, with all party support from the City Council. It organised several aid convoys to Gaza including an ambulance and a giant articulated truck decorated with images of Wallace and Grommit which was waved off from the City Centre. In May 2010, two Bristol citizens were within inches of death on-board the aid ship, Mavi Marmara, when it was attacked by Israeli commandos. Bristol was also the first local council in the country passing a motion condemning these attacks and calling for boycott and divestment of Israel. Following a student occupation in 2009, UWE now has a “Conflict Zone Bursary” which has already funded two students from Gaza. Local campaigners build awareness of Palestine issues through meetings, boycott actions, and cultural events.Bristol also hosts a Palestine Film Festival at the Watershed every year. Bristol also has the only permanent Palestine exhibition in the Western World at the Palestine Museum Centre on Broad Street between the Centre and St Nicholas Market which was opened by the Lord Mayor of Bristol and the Palestine Ambassador in June 2013.

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