The Gig for Gaza

300 people gathered in Totnes’s Civic Hall on Friday December 8th for an emotionally charged and heartfelt evening of song, poetry and contemplation, in what was to be the first of many Gigs for Gaza.

a humanitarian catastrophe

Images by Sebastian Boehler-Jefferys

Musicians and poets from the Totnes area and beyond appeared at the fundraising event, which was livestreamed to the West Bank in Palestine and around the world to an audience of 750. Acts such as Rob Carney, Briony Greenhill, Léa Lazelle with Mamadou Oury Diallo (both pictured) and Tom Hirons performed live in a three-hour show. The event raised over £4,000, which will go towards the Hands Up Project, an award-winning charity that supports the voices of children in Gaza and in the West Bank to be heard through storytelling, poetry and drama; and to Medical Aid for Palestine (MAP), which works for the health and dignity of Palestinians living under occupation and as refugees.

Since the Hamas paramilitary attack on Israel on October 7th, killing 1,139, around half of whom were civilians,  almost 20,000, have been killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, 8,000 of which were children. 1.7 million Palestinians have been displaced, and the United Nations General Assembly has called the violence a humanitarian catastrophe. While there has long been a strong voice for Palestinian rights in Totnes, the vast majority of the UK public also now supports the calls for an immediate ceasefire.

We won’t turn away. We won’t stop speaking your names.

It’s vital to keep contacting our government to call them to demand a ceasefire,’ said performer Léa Lazelle.
Nick Bilbrough from the Hands Up Project said, ‘We cannot underestimate how much hope this kind of event brings to the people of Palestine, who are feeling so deserted and betrayed by the governments of the world.
Tom Hirons read ‘If I Must Die, Let it Bring Hope’ by Palestinian poet, Refaat Alareer, who was killed in an airstrike the day before the event. Tom closed the evening, saying: ‘We won’t forget you. We won’t turn away. We won’t stop speaking your names.’

Totnes Friends of Palestine hold a vigil every Thursday at 5.30pm outside the Civic Hall. All are welcome.

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x