Vigil in Wolverhampton brings hundreds to plead for peace in Palestine
There were prayers, chants and pleas for peace as a community came together in Wolverhampton in support of the Palestinian people.
Around 300 people gathered at the Prince Albert statue on Queen Square in the centre of Wolverhampton to pay their respects to all those who had died or are currently suffering in the ongoing violence in Palestine.
Despite heavy rain, those attending came in peace, with many carrying Palestinian flags, banners or placards and providing a dignified protest in the centre of Wolverhampton.
The vigil was part of a national effort to raise awareness of the war in the Gaza Strip since the war started on October 7. and saw people get up to make speeches throughout the event.
It was organised by the Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign and chairman Bob Deacon said the aim of the event had been to express a united wish for the violence to end and a ceasefire to begin.
He said: "We are part of a very large number of people who are expressing the view that we need to end this violence in the Gaza Strip as quickly as possible with a ceasefire, so that humanitarian aid can get in and hostages can be released.
"We also want to see that other people who can get out are able to do so and while we are just one straw in the wind, there are a lot of straws besides us."
Looking ahead, Mr Deacon spoke of a wish for the current crisis to have an outcome, rather than going back to a situation of a continual occupation in the region, and asked for more recognition from council and political figures in the city.
He said: "The current crisis will have an outcome, however far away that might be, but what we cannot do is go back to a situation where there's an occupation as this has been going on for years and we've been carrying on as if it's not causing too much trouble.
"There have to be negotiations to formulate a long-term solution and to solve the underlying problems.
"What was disappointing to me on Saturday was that none of our city councillors, MPs or prospective MPs were present as those are the people who, locally, we need to be getting engaged and taking this a lot seriously than it's being taken right now."
To find out more about the campaign, visit wolvestuc.org.uk/wolverhampton-palestine-solidarity-campaign.