Jewish community hold peace vigil outside Barclays Bank in Fishergate

Posted on - 9th July, 2024 - 9:50am | Author - | Posted in - Politics, Preston City Centre, Preston News
The vigil was held outside Barclays Bank which had been vandalised last month Pic: Savannah Dable

Preston’s Jewish community held a peace vigil in Preston city centre during the weekend.

Savannah Dable, who organised the vigil outside Barclays Bank in Fishergate, said the hostage vigil would be taking place each month until the Gaza conflict ended.

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She told Blog Preston: “How long can this go on? We don’t know. We have started a hostage vigil each month in the centre of Preston.

“We hold posters of missing hostages and call for their safe return and pray for peace. The vigil is intended as a quiet and dignified plea for humanity and justice for innocents.

“We speak to people who stop by and engage with us. We have positive response and support. Lots of ordinary Prestonians and visitors stop by and talk to us. Many will give us a “thumbs up” or say “well done for raising the awareness”. We had many conversations around the factual history of the region and the conflict in the Middle East.

“We will continue to hold these vigils each month until all the hostages are returned. We know we can’t do much to change what is happening in the Israel – Hamas war, but we help to keep good relations with everyone in Preston, just by talking to them if they want to.

“We can of course disagree in a respectful way and walk away. We found this is the best way to have a dialogue. I am very surprised with the quality of conversations we have had. Ordinary people know a lot, they want to learn, talk and listen. I am very proud of my fellow citizens of Preston for being open-minded and able to hold a conversation on a very emotive and difficult topic.”

Read more: Preston peace service attracts criticism for being ‘watered down’ but council defends event

The Barclays site was chosen was it was targeted last-month as part of a UK-wide action by a Pro-Palestine militant group who smashed windows and threw red paint across the branch in Fishergate.

The vigil comes as Preston saw a swell of votes for pro-Palestine candidate Michael Lavalette in the general election, where he finished second behind Labour.

Red paint and damage at Barclays in Preston
Red paint and damage at Barclays in Preston

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