Lahore: A Palestinian solidarity protest was held by various civil society groups at Lahore Press Club on Saturday. A crowd of around 800 people gathered and voiced their concerns over human rights violations being perpetrated in Palestine at the hands of Israeli Security forces and settlers. The protest was organized by Aurat March (Lahore), Haqooq e Khalq Movement (HKM) and the Progressive Students Collective (PSC). The rally was attended by people from all walks of life; students, activists, lawyers and workers all marched together demanding an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine. Palestinian students studying in Lahore also joined the protest and addressed the crowd. The organizers stated on social media a few days prior to the protest that in addition to demanding an immediate end to the recent wave of violence perpetrated by Israeli security forces, a ‘ceasefire does not cease the violence’ nor does it ensure accountability. Ammar Ali Jan, an activist from the Haqooq e Khalq Movement, said that the ceasefire should not be taken seriously, referring to how the recent wave of violence was not an isolated event. “Israel has been illegally occupying Palestinian land and has been committing slow genocide for the last seven decades.” He further stated “The people of Pakistan stand with Palestine. We need to amplify the voices of Palestinians and it is also important to tell our own rulers that we will not accept any kind of trade or diplomatic relations with the state of Israel.” The protest was largely led by students from the Progressive Students Collective (PSC); a left-wing students organization that is known to have played a leading role in the revival of student politics across Punjab in the past few years. Yahya, who was one of the student organizers, gave a statement highlighting how this protest was different from others held recently in Lahore for a number of reasons, but especially since “Palestinian voices were centred” and that they were allowed to express themselves without any restrictions or dictation from the organizers. As the crowd grew larger, a heavy contingent of riot police officers armed with non-lethal weapons was dispatched to the site of the protest that somewhat spontaneously turned into a peaceful march towards the US consulate in Lahore. Anti-imperialist slogans were also raised in front of the US consulate. Several protestors expressed their support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), and called out Pakistani political analysts that recently advocated for the recognition of Israel as a sovereign state. Shafaq, another student activist who was present at the protest, said that although the intensity and scale of the violence are different, parallels can be drawn between the forced evictions in Sheikh Jarrah and forced evictions of working-class people in Pakistan. Towards the end of the protest, veteran activist Farooq Tariq from the Pakistan Kisaan Rabita Committee addressed the crowd and called for an immediate end to the violent policies of the apartheid state of Israel. After the demonstration had formally ended, a large group of protestors decided to stay and continued to chant pro-Palestinian slogans. Despite being the fourth solidarity protest held in Lahore in the past week, the event managed to attract a large diverse crowd of attendees. The writer is a student from the Department of Liberal Arts at Beaconhouse National University.