700 join March For Gaza through Kirkcaldy

The chant of ‘‘Viva Viva Palestina ‘‘ rang round Kirkcaldy town centre as up to 700 people joined a March For Gaza today - the biggest demonstration seen in the town for as number of years.

They came from across the Kingdom and beyond to march from Beveridge Park through the heart of the town and on to a rally in the Town Square.

Breaking News image for use on fifetoday.co.uk

Breaking News image for use on fifetoday.co.uk

Many flew Palestinian flags, others wrapped one around themselves as the rain hammered down.

It was organised by the Fife branch of the Scottish Palestine solidarity Campaign and featured a number of speakers including Fife MSPs Rod Campbell, Alex Rowley and Cara Hilton as well as messages of support from figures such as Tommy Sheridan.

Bill Mair, who led the march, was delighted with the public support.

Organisers hoped for between 300 to 500 people, but estimates suggest the figure was much closer to 700 - and it could have been higher but for the appalling conditions.

Bill said: ‘‘For a day like today in a town this size it is fantastic.

‘’We have held demos and meetings in the past in the wake of atrocities, and we have never had this kind of response - it shows that the killings of the past week have left people outraged.’’

Although led by the SPSC, the march also had the backing of the town’s five mosques who all played an active part.

Added Bill: ‘‘The Muslim community in Fife is very moderate so to have them all involved today was just fantastic.’’

Protestors gathered in the car park at Beveridge Park an hour before setting off.

Despite a horrendous downpour no-one left.

Speakers at the park included Cara Hilton who said she and all the marchers stood ‘‘united in condemnation’’ of Israel’s attacks in Gaza.

The marchers then made their way from the park down Nicol Street and into the High Street where the chanting and singing stopped for a minute’s silence.

They then made their way through the High Street, up Kirk Wynd and back along to thew Town Square.

Alex Rowley MSP paid tribute to all who had turned out and said it sent ‘‘a clear message’’ of support to the people of Palestine.

Councillor Peter Lockhart also called on Fife Council to show its support by lowering the Union Jack and saltire flags at Fife House and replacing them for one week with the Palestinian flag.

He also wanted ‘‘small gestures’ such as removing all Israeli products from the canteen to be undertaken.

The march ended as it had started with cries of ‘’Viva Viva Palestina’’ and a call to action for those who turned out to also get involved in workshops planned for next weekend in Kirkcaldy.

>> Did you join the March For Gaza? Give us your views of the demo and why you got involved - email ffpnews@fifetoday.co.uk

>> The event was tweeted @fifefreepressed - and there will be video from the march online later.