Thousands attend protest against the BBC’s Gaza coverage

Thousands turned out at BBC Studios, Media City, Manchester on Saturday 12 July to protest against the BBC’s Gaza coverage.

The demonstration was organised for a peaceful protest against what campaigners called ‘biased’ reporting of events in Gaza.

They say the BBC in particular has failed to shed enough light on the ‘thousands murdered’ since Israel’s ‘illegal occupancy in Gaza’.

The current conflict between Israel and Palestine escalated following the news of the murder of three Israeli teenagers a few weeks ago. Israeli government claimed that Hamas militants were responsible for kidnapping and murdering three teenagers as they hitchhiked home from school across the West Bank. Israeli’s responded to this with the abduction of a Palestinian boy, who was then killed in a grisly act of reprisal as he waited for early prayers at a local mosque. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu further launched ‘Operation Protective Edge’ which according to Gaza Health Ministry has till date lead to the death toll of over 150 civilians in Gaza with more than 920 Palestinians wounded in the attacks, with over a third being children and women. The death toll in Israel stands at zero. It is believed that this is the worst series of Israeli attacks on the Strip since 2012. 

gaza2The event organisers of the demonstration in outside BBC Studios in Manchester say Palestinians are facing “a horrific escalation of racism and violence” at the hands of the IDF. 

They say the BBC in particular has failed to shed enough light on the ‘thousands murdered’ since Israel’s ‘illegal occupancy in Gaza’.

“The world is doing nothing about this but we must,” says a statement on the event’s Facebook page.

Asian Sunday spoke to BBC regarding the protest and the allegations of ‘biased’ reporting. BBC were unable to respond to our direct questions, however issued the following statement

“We have given great consideration to our coverage of recent events, including the killing of three Israeli teenagers and the kidnap and murder of a Palestinian teenager, reporting in detail and without agenda these and subsequent developments across BBC News outlets. We report widely and extensively on many different aspects of this ongoing and complex conflict. Our role is to explain what is happening and why and we endeavour to reflect a range of voices, amid deeply held views. We are committed to continuing to report and analyse sometimes fast moving events in an accurate, fair and balanced way.”

Protestors and spectators at the demonstration highlighted their cause with the hundreds of placards displaying  ‘BBC fair coverage for Palestine’ and live speakers, followed by videos on social media protesting against the BBC outside their Manchester studios. Yet BBC’s coverage of the demonstration on their website reports ‘Manchester protestors stage rally against Gaza Bombing’ with no mention of protest against the organisation. 

George Galloway at a recent protest in London went on record to say ‘I refuse to pay a compulsory license fee to the BBC to lie to the British people….and so from this moment on I will not pay that license fee. They can take me to court, they can send me to jail, but I will not pay the BBC for their lies to the British people’

A rally is set to take place today in Bradford at 730pm in Centenary Square. Organisers have called the protest ‘Stop the Massacre: Stand with Palestine emergency demo.’ Almost four thousand people have confirmed to attend on their Facebook page. 

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