Thousands of people from across the region took to the streets of Preston to protest against the bombing of Gaza.

People assembled from at Moor Park, close to the Deepdale Stadium on Sunday (March 3) before marching through the city.

The event was organised by 'Children of the Ghetto' and organisers said more than 7,000 people of all ages and backgrounds turned out.

Coaches and mini buses were laid on by volunteers in surrounding towns.

The procession stopped at the town's Flag Market where a Palestinian flag was unfurled.

It came ten years on from historic moment when Preston Town Hall became the first ever British council to show support for Palestine by flying the country's flag.

The event was supported by a number of local groups including Lancaster4Palestine, Blackburn4Palestine, Chorley4Palestine, Accrington4Palestine, Stop the War, Lancashire Council of Mosques, the Lancashire Association of Trades Union Council, and the Friends of Al-Aqsa.

It came during a week when a leading human rights charity warned the government not to conflate peaceful marches with extremism.

In an address to the nation on Friday, the Prime Minister warned about the current situation in the country as the bombing of Gaza by the Israeli Defense Forces continued.

Mr Sunak said there are “forces here at home trying to tear us apart”.

The speech made the majority of the front pages of newspapers during a week when more than 100 Palestinians attempting to access aid were gunned down by Israeli forces. 

Many of the people treated for injuries following a rush on an aid convoy in Gaza on Thursday suffered gunshot wounds, the UN has said.

In response to Rishi Sunak’s speech, Ilyas Nagdee, Amnesty International UK’s Racial Justice Director, said: “The overwhelmingly peaceful protests about mass atrocities in Gaza must not be conflated with extremism.

“People are protesting because of the terrifyingly high civilian death toll in Gaza, which is still mounting inexorably, and the Government’s lack of action for an immediate ceasefire to stem the unbearable suffering.

“The threat to impose yet more restrictions on people’s right to peacefully protest is deeply worrying and suggests the Government is determined to silence those who may disagree with its policies. This is entirely in line with the chaotic patchwork of legislation and sweeping policing powers we have seen introduced in recent years."