What inspired a diverse group of young people to come together to hold a series of pro-Palestine events and protests?

The group have been at the forefront of a number of demonstrations in the town centre and across Lancashire throughout the winter months. Whilst numbers have fluctuated the group said they were determined to create more awareness of the bombing of Gaza by the Israeli Defense Forces.

But their focus it said was also to highlight the ongoing occupation of land in the region by teaming up with the the Friends of Al Aqsa (FOA), an international organisation which aims to 'make a difference in the struggle for Palestinian rights'.

The UK-based Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) advocates for the 'political rights of Palestine'.  It has been at the forefront of campaigning for Palestine for over 27 years. 

Yasin Chopdat who is part of the group said: "We were moved by a strong bond to justice and the group was formed through a series of meetings, events, and actions. We hope to raise local awareness and support national FOA efforts. 

"FOA engages in impactful initiatives like BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) campaigns, engaging politicians, education, civil society mobilisation and student activism. 

"It challenges Israel's violation of international law, illegal occupation and apartheid policies. BDS campaign includes boycotting Coca-Cola, for their operations on stolen Palestinian land in Atarot since 1968. FOA are also focusing on boycotting Israeli dates."

Influenced by FOA's focus on taking part in politics and speaking out, the Blackburn group they have also been speaking to politicians in the hope of bringing about  change. 

Asian Image: A demonstration was held outside the BBC Radio Lancashire offices in Blackburn to remember the

Yasin said in Blackburn, more and more people were joining in and stepping forward to volunteer.

He said: "From young activists to older campaigners, this mixed team is joined by a shared aim – to stand up for justice and freedom.  

"The team is making plans for several events, like educational talks, and support protests in Blackburn. So, if you're looking for a way to make a difference and stand up for what's right, consider joining the movement for FOA in Blackburn.

"Together, we can build a better future for Palestine and for all those who believe in justice and human rights."

If you are interested in volunteering you can e-mail blackburnfoa@gmail.com