Residents urged to think carefully before attending protest for Palestine in Peterborough
Peterborough residents are being urged to ‘think carefully’ before attending a protest for Palestine in the city to prevent the spread of COVID.
The event is due to take place on Saturday (May 22) at 2pm in Cathedral Square.
Organisers of the protest have asked that people attending should wear masks and adhere to social distancing rules while peacefully protesting.
One of the organisers, Suleman Hussain said: “We’re organising a peaceful protest on Saturday, May 22 at 2pm at Cathedral Square, Peterborough for Palestine Our purpose is to raise awareness in relation to oppression off innocent Palestinian people by the occupied state, recognised by the United Nations, human rights and international law. We also want to highlight biased propagandist journalism. We are asking the world to heed of the suffering of the Palestinian people under occupation. We are also asking for all hostilities to desist immediately and for peace to prevail for all residents of Israel and occupied Palestine. We also call upon local and national politicians to support efforts in stopping the forced removal of Palestinians from their homes and to stop building illegal settlements in occupied lands.”
Emmeline Watkins, acting director of Public Health for Peterborough said there was still ‘a real risk of infection’ if large groups met.
She said; “From Monday (May17), the government’s current roadmap permits up to 30 people from different households to gather, but there is a limit on numbers because there is still a real risk of infection.
“I would ask local residents to carefully consider their heartfelt desire to join a peaceful protest, against the potential risks to themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19 infection in a city where we are still seeing enduring infection rates of nearly twice the regional rates.
“People gathering to protest cannot eliminate coronavirus risk but can take steps to decrease the spread to others or chances of getting it themselves.”
A Peterborough City Council statement said: “As a vibrant peaceful multicultural city, Peterborough City Council understands the desire of people of all faiths and none to protest about the recent rise of violence in Israel and Gaza.
“Like our own city, people of a wide range of different faiths live side by side in these areas – and Jerusalem is seen as a place of great significance by Christians, Jews and Muslims.
“All people should be able to live peacefully without fear, and we earnestly hope for a speedy resolution to the current conflict brought about by dialogue and not bullets.”
Residents taking part are urged to:
• Travel to the event safely
• Stay at least 2m apart from others not in your household
• Cover your mouth and nose with a 3 layered face covering
• Take and use hand sanitizer and avoid physical contact while greeting people, don’t shake hands, hug or kiss!
• Don’t share food or drinks, take your own (re-useable) water bottle
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, where the virus can enter the body.
• Don’t use the same microphone that’s been used by other people.
A spokesperson for Cambridgeshire Constabulary confirmed they are looking to work with the council and event organisers to ensure it is carried out safely and peacefully.