Photography Lena Elghamry 

Powerful photographs from London's March for Palestine last weekend

18-year-old Lena Elghamry captured the mood as over 150,000 people took to the streets to protest the brutal violence against Palestinians in Gaza.

by Frankie Dunn
19 May 2021, 4:55pm

Photography Lena Elghamry 

This Saturday 15 May, a reported 150,000+ people took to the streets of central London marching in solidarity with the people of Palestine. 18-year-old Egyptian photographer Lena Elghamry captured the scene as crowds moved through Hyde Park and towards the Israeli Embassy. “The mood was quite mixed,” Lena says. “Some people were angry but at times it got quite melancholy, especially when it was announced that the Al Jazeera news tower was destroyed while we were marching. Then, towards the end, it got quite frantic. Overall though, you definitely felt the unity; like you were a part of something important, and that this is just the beginning of something massive.”

As crowds moved through the city, chants of “Free Palestine” and “1, 2, 3, 4/ Occupation no more/ 5, 6, 7, 8 / Israel is a terrorist state,” rang out in unison. Compared to the other two recent marches for the cause, which Lena also attended, she says that this weekend’s was vastly different: “It was a lot more diverse,” she notes. “I saw a lot more white people and it was drastically different in numbers. There were a lot of young people too, most likely because of how this issue has infiltrated social media in the past month and become ‘dinner table’ talk for Middle Eastern and Muslim youth.”

Despite the horrific situation on the ground, Lena feels hopeful. “A lot more people know about this now and are actively educating themselves,” she says. “We have been protesting and trying to raise awareness for the past few years, but it’s always been a majority of Muslims and Middle Easterners. Now everyone recognises that this is a crisis of humanity -- not religion, nationality or anything else. Simply humanity.”

a man waving a palestinian flat stands with his fist raised above a marching crowd. two young women look at each other in the foreground.
below a waving flag, a woman in a headscarf stands with her arms raised, shouting
a group of young people stand on scaffolding with flags, banners and phones raised
a group of people march holding 'Free Palestine' banners and flowers
a masked person in a crowd holds a banner above the camera
a group of masked young women stand together talking, having lowered their 'freedom for palestine' banners
a tight crowd holding pro-palestine banners march together
photographers shoot a masked woman handing out roses to peaceful protesters
a wide shot of a pro-palestine crowd marching with banners and flags raised
a group of young men stand on top of a London bus shelter with flags raised

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Photography Lena Elghamry