Protestors held a vigil outside the BBC in MediaCity in honour of Palestinian journalists who have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza.

Organised by the UK volunteer-led group Friends of Al-Aqsa, protestors from across Salford and beyond gathered on February 21 to pay respects to the journalists – as well as protest against the BBC’s coverage of the conflict in Gaza.

Of the 99 journalists and media workers who were killed in 2023, 77 were killed in the first 10 weeks of the war. Seventy-two were Palestinian, three were Lebanese and two were Israeli.

The night consisted of speeches from activists from across Greater Manchester, and protestors wore T-shirts displaying the name of each known Palestinian journalist who has been killed.

Protestors gathered outside the BBC. Credit: Isla Davies

Protestors claimed that the BBC has shown a bias towards Israel in its coverage.

The BBC responded previously to these claims, on October 16, saying: “We received complaints from people who feel that our reporting of the conflict has been biased against Israel, and complaints from those who feel it has been biased against the Palestinians.

“We understand that this is an extremely worrying time for people not only in the region, but also in the UK and around the world, and we have reflected this in our coverage.”

Protestor. Credit: Isla Davies

Israel has denied an accusation of carrying out genocide in Gaza, brought by South Africa to the International Court of Justice.

Nicky Cohr founded the Facebook and WhatsApp group Salford Supports Palestine, after leaving her military history studies, disagreeing with the way acts of violence were framed.

“The journalists in Gaza have been targeted, had their internet traced, and their families have been put in danger,” she said.

“There is a need in Salford for support and solidarity with the people of Palestine. It’s a very working class community, and it’s also been the birthplace of many revolutionary thinkers.”

Nicky Cohr. Credit: Isla Davies

Martin Odoni, who also helps out with the group, says: “I’m Jewish, and I’ve actually got cousins that live in Israel, so I sort of have an inside view. But I cannot bring myself to support Israel ever. The things that it’s done to the Palestinians in the last 75 years is unspeakable.

“I get very angry and hurt personally when Israel claims to do these things in the name of Jews.

“All across Greater Manchester there seems to be, not a total, but a widespread sympathy for Palestinians, and creating this WhatsApp group and Facebook group makes sure that all the people who do want to support Palestinians know what events they can go to, very easily.”

To get involved in Salford Supports Palestine, click here.

To find out more about Friends of Al-Aqsa, click here.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *