Free Palestine Birmingham (Plus a little bit of Anti-Lockdown protests)

It looks like there have been protests all over Europe in support of Palestine, from Dublin, to Amsterdam, to France. There have also been protests in the UK as well, including in London.

The actions in the UK happened to be on the same date as anti-lockdown protests. I was not aware of any organised anti-lockdown protests in Birmingham, because although the weekend of the 15th May was the regional protests as well as London, there was no Birmingham protest mentioned on the list I saw.

I went into town because I wanted to pick up some stuff, though I was on the lookout for any protest actions. At 2:30pm I started hearing a lot of noise and had a look outside, there was a reasonably large group of anti-lockdown protesters near the Waterstones bookshop.

Protesters were holding banners and signs saying ‘No More Lockdown’, signs defending children and one woman with a sign reading ‘There’s nothing more unattractive than a muzzled up obedient man’. There was also someone with one of those smiley face flags that I saw in the London protest imagery.

I assume the protest took place earlier in the day and dispersed after this because I did not see them about afterwards. I finished what I was doing in town and then decided to look around to see if there were any protest actions still going on, I started walking towards Victoria Square. I could see a large number of Palestinian flags so I moved in that direction.

As I walked towards the square, the crowd began to walk in my direction. The crowd was way larger than I expected.

Crowd of protesters leaving Victoria Square

The march route. I believe it was this. Marked on the Wikimedia commons (ancient) Birmingham City Centre map:

The crowd must have been made up of a few thousand people. This was surprising to me because when I have been to or seen Free Palestine events in the past they have been small.

It took about an hour for the crowd to get round that route and back to Victoria Square. Here are a few more photos.

Colmore Row.
Near Station entrance (old Pallisades)
Approaching Victoria Square.

The crowd reached Victoria Square and there was chanting but there wasn’t any speeches or anything like that. There is thus not much to comment on in that regard.

Here’s Victoria Square.

It was good to see such large protest events in support of Palestine around the country and the world. The size of such protests compared to in the past perhaps warrants further examination as to why but would require further research.

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