After Preston and Tower Hamlets, the flag of Palestine has flown from the municipal building of another British local authority.
Photographs have emerged of the flag flying from Newcastle Civic Centre, in north east England. It was raised after anti-Israel protesters staged a “die-in” outside the building, in which around 100 people laid on the ground and pretended to be dead.
Newcastle City councillor David Stockdale then raised the flag, despite not having permission from the council do so, before taking it down half an hour later.
Raising the flag for Palestine, Palestine Solidarity Campaign Newcastle upon tyne pic.twitter.com/0Gyk4BOh3g
– Free Palestine (@busykhn) August 6, 2014
Flew the Palestinian flag at Newcastle Civic Centre tonight as a symbol of hope that one day Palestine will be free. pic.twitter.com/ahHySgVWFX
– David Stockdale (@DavidStockdale) August 5, 2014
Stockdale told the Newcastle Chronicle: “I did hoist that flag, officially I didn’t have permission to do it, but the important thing is that it is a symbol. I flew it freely, a right people in Palestine don’t have. The flag is symbolic of the hope that we have not that it’s the end of the ground offensive in Gaza. It was also to respect the people who have lost their lives.”
Last month, Breitbart London reported that Preston City Council, which is run by the Labour Party, hoisted the Palestine flag over its town hall before auctioning it off and raising £1,500 for a pro-Hamas organisation.
The controversial mayor of the London borough of Tower Hamlets then also flew the flag above the borough’s town hall, proudly Tweeting a photo of the flag with the message “Palestinian flag flying at Town Hall in solidarity with #Gaza and in support of a #ceasefire & peace.”
The flag drew criticism from Jewish group YadbYadUK, who called it an “incitement and danger to the Jewish community”. It was eventually removed, with a council official claiming it had been taken down in a “perceived act of vandalism”.
It is not believed that Stockdale will face disciplinary action for flying the flag, despite not having official permission to do so.