[Photos by David Lloyd Williams]

 A LARGE-scale demo in Rhyl calling for peace in Palestine attracted about 500 people.

Prestatyn’s Voices for Peace and other peace groups across North Wales organised the march which took place on Saturday, April 13. 

Participants walked through Rhyl Town Centre to a rally at the Events Arena.

Banners and Palestinian flags were waved in the sunshine and people chanted ‘Free, free Palestine’ and ‘Ceasefire now’.

Rhyl Journal: Banners and Palestinian flags were waved in the sunshineBanners and Palestinian flags were waved in the sunshine (Image: Submitted)
Many shopkeepers came out to cheer the marchers on. 

Catherine Platt, Chair of the Prestatyn group, said: “Saturday’s march was a historic day for North Wales, where hundreds of people came from far and wide to call for peace in Palestine. Their calls were unified, the suffering must stop.  

"Some of the speakers have first-hand experience of the horrors that have been taking place in Palestine for over six months now, their testimony must be heard. We hope our leaders listen to these cries.”

Rhyl Journal: Youngsters at the eventYoungsters at the event (Image: Submitted)
Dr Sian Arfon-Miners, from Bangor, said: “The event shone a light on the terrible suffering experienced by the Palestinian people. As well as over 33,000 deaths, there have been 158,000 injuries many of which have affected children. These injuries often include fractures, nerve and spinal cord injuries, amputations, brain trauma and burns.

Rhyl Journal: Speakers take to the stage at the eventSpeakers take to the stage at the event (Image: Submitted)
“In addition, 30 of Gaza’s 36 hospitals have been bombed, many repeatedly, even while medical staff, patients and civilians seeking shelter remain inside. It is simply an unimaginable level of suffering, and it is vital that the conflict ends immediately.”

Rhyl Journal: About 500 people joined the peaceful rallyAbout 500 people joined the peaceful rally (Image: Submitted)
North Wales Police provided support on the day but the event passed peacefully with no opposition.

Paul Penlington, former Prestatyn councillor who is standing as the Plaid Cymru candidate in the new Clwyd East constituency, said: “It is beyond belief that our governments continue to supply arms and defend Israel’s actions despite global condemnation and ICJ rulings that Israel are committing genocide.

Rhyl Journal: Walking through the Events ArenaWalking through the Events Arena (Image: Submitted)
“It was good to hear politicians from both governments in Wales speaking out against the genocide. Plaid Cymru have consistently called for a ceasefire, however there were also a handful of individuals from other parties who spoke-up at the event, calling for a permanent and lasting ceasefire, which should be commended.”  


After the march, about 400 people stayed behind to listen to speakers, including doctors, who have worked in Palestine. Also in attendance was Stop the War Coalition, CND Cymru, and politicians from Westminster and the Welsh Government.

Rhyl Journal: Marching through the High StreetMarching through the High Street (Image: Submitted)
David McKnight, of Stop the War Cymru, said: "As the events of the last week have made clear, the war in Gaza risks igniting the entire region.”

“The only way to prevent this escalation is to end the genocide in Gaza and for western governments, particularly our own and the US, to cease supplying weapons to Israel.”

Rhyl Journal: People brought their pets to the marchPeople brought their pets to the march (Image: Submitted)
“We often talk about Wales’s proud history of peace campaigning, anti-militarism, and international solidarity. That’s why we’ll continue to march, to hold vigils, rallies, and demonstrations, to ensure that we build a future of peace, and a world without war, together.”