Protesters held a small demonstration outside Barclays bank in Bolton town centre today calling for the bank to ‘stop supporting the war in Gaza’.

It comes as the Palestine Solidarity Campaign protested across the north west, including Blackburn, Bury, Oldham, Altrincham, Manchester, Stockport, and Rochdale.

Speaking at the protest in Bolton, Palestine fundraiser, Aysha Randera, said: “It’s important to protest because we don’t agree with Barclay’s supplying to Israel and being a partner because of all the bombardment of the poor children getting killed.

“It hasn’t been good since October 7, but it has been going on for years, so we are here to support them.

The Bolton News: From left to right: Eileen Murphy and Aysha RanderaFrom left to right: Eileen Murphy and Aysha Randera (Image: Newsquest)

“And we feel for them and think what if it was our child or our mother or father?

“We are supporting them because they have lost their land and they have been under occupation all the time, and we are very lucky because we have everything right now, but in Gaza they have to answer for everything and don’t have anything.”

They claim that Barclays 'provides more than £3 billion in loans and underwriting to companies whose weapons, components, and military technology have been used in Israel’s armed violence against Palestinians'.

They say that the companies in question include weapons manufacturer Raytheon, which sells products to companies all over the world, including the USA, Poland, Qatar, South Korea and Saudi Arabia, and construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar, which builds diggers and bulldozers used all over the world.

The Bolton News: Supporter and Bolton Socialist Club member Eileen Murphy said: “We are hoping to spread the word of how Barclays is involved in arming Israel and loaning them huge amounts of money.

“I am fairly old now, and I have seen nothing like this in my life before.

“What happened on October 7 in Israel was wrong, but this is wrong on a much bigger scale, and people around the world should be standing up and saying stop this now.


Pro-Palestine protest outside Barclays, Bolton

♬ original sound - The Bolton News

“When you see children who are being bombed in their homes, the world has to stand up and condemn this.”

Eileen says that although a temporary four-day ceasefire started yesterday (November 24) she says that Governments should work together to make this permanent.

Barclays has declined to comment on the concerns raised by protestors, and these claims are yet to be verified.

The Bolton News: It comes as Hamas is preparing to release 14 Israeli hostages for 42 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, according to Egyptian officials.

The exchange will come on the second day of a ceasefire that has allowed critical humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip and given civilians their first respite after seven weeks of war.

On the first day of the four-day ceasefire, Hamas released 24 of the about 240 hostages taken during its attack on Israel on October 7 that triggered the war, and Israel freed 39 Palestinians from prison.

Those freed from captivity in Gaza were 13 Israelis, 10 Thais and a Filipino.

Under the truce agreement, Hamas will release one Israeli hostage for every three prisoners freed, and Israel’s Prison Service had already said earlier on Saturday it was preparing 42 prisoners for release.

It was not immediately clear if any non-Israeli captives may also be released on Saturday.

During the four days of the ceasefire, Hamas is due to release at least 50 Israeli hostages, and Israel will free 150 Palestinian prisoners.

Israel has said the truce can be extended an extra day for every additional 10 hostages freed — something United States President Joe Biden said he hoped would come to pass.

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