'You are shopping, bombs are dropping': Thousands march in London for Aleppo
Thousands of protesters took to the streets of London on Saturday to voice their anger at the 'inaction' of the international community after reports of the humanitarian situation worsening in eastern Aleppo.
Activists from the Syria Solidarity Campaign and various other groups carried Syrian flags and banners that read “save Aleppo”, “Hand in hand with Aleppo” and “Enough with Assad” as a means of prompting international action for the people currently stranded inside the city.
More than two dozen police accompanied the rally as protesters marched through London's Oxford street while thousands of shoppers were visiting the busy high street a week before the Christmas holidays, chanting "You are shopping, bombs are dropping".
"The inaction and utter failure of the international community has been demonstrated by the massacres that have unfolded in east Aleppo," said protester Zaki al-Kaf.
Al-Kaf spoke at the demonstration and told Middle East Eye that MPs had failed to fill the vacuum left by the late Jo Cox, who had campaigned tirelessly for the Syrian cause.
"Many MPs like Alison Mcgovern, who is now the chair of the parliamentary group on Syria, have done fantastic work but more needs to be done" said Zaki.
Heather, who was shopping in the busy area, told MEE live that in spite of the protest "causing a disruption and holding up the city", she understood that "this was the only way to help the innocent people trapped in Aleppo."
The protest ended outside Downing Street, where thousands gathered to listen to speeches from Syrians who had fled Aleppo amid the brutal civil war.
Activists who have campaigned for the Syrian revolution and for the British government to aid refugees fleeing the country also spoke.
The demonstration today was part of a series that have taken place around the world and in Britain.
On Tuesday, hundreds were outside Downing Street and the Syrian embassy protesting against the "inhumanity" unfolding after activists and civilians sent out "final messages" on social media from eastern Aleppo after government forces edged closer to the besieged area.
Evacuations stopped after a ceasefire was broken by the Syrian government because of the refusal of rebel groups to end a siege on two pro-governement villages near Idlib province.
Many Aleppo evacuees were reportedly robbed of their possessions and forced to go back into the besieged city.
Temperatures have continued to plummet in Aleppo as many residents await news of the next set of evacuations from east Aleppo to the west Aleppo countryside and rebel-held parts of Idlib.
Additional reporting by Areeb Ullah