Gaza ceasefire vigils continue in local towns

A weekly hour-long vigil for peace and a ceasefire in Gaza began outside Andover Guildhall on 30 January 2024. As the bombardment of the Gaza Strip has continued unabated and the consequent humanitarian crisis continued to grow, the weekly vigils have continued at 5:30pm every Tuesday.

On 1 March 2024 a similar series of vigils started outside Whitchurch Town Hall, which has also continued weekly at 3pm.


In parallel with these is a Thursday evening series of vigils in Newbury Market Square, which started back in November, and continue weekly at 7:30pm. A series of vigils has also started outside Basingstoke railway station on Sundays at 3pm.


Although the vigils were started by local members of the Green Party, and the candidate in the North West Hampshire constituency for the forthcoming general election, Hina West, has attended several, the groups attending them now are drawn from a wide cross-section of society, and supporters of all political parties and of none are of course welcome.

Andrew Smith said: “At every vigil we engage interested passers-by, discussing the crisis and giving out leaflets. Towards the end of the hour, we hold a two-minute silence to remember all who have lost their lives or been injured, as well as those who are suffering from lack of food and medical facilities. We also think of all the emergency, health and aid workers who are caught up in what the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories has described as a genocide.

Andrew (far left) in Whitchurch

Hina West said: “As I have joined community-led peace vigils across North West Hampshire I have been humbled by the dedication and compassion of the attendees and passers-by, taking action week in, week out and in whatever weather: they show their unwavering solidarity with those needlessly suffering in Gaza/Palestine. I applaud them all for their fortitude as we see these atrocities continuing from afar, and stand with them all until a ceasefire is called.”

Hina (centre) in Andover

The groups plan to continue the vigils for as long as necessary, and all are welcome to join them.

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