More than 300,000 pro-Palestinian protesters marched through Central London on Saturday (Nov 11) calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, as the war between Israel and Hamas is intensifying in the Palestinian enclave. According to a report by the news agency Reuters, the protesters set off green and red flares, waved Palestinian flags, and demanded “occupation no more,” while a group of Jewish pro-Palestinian protesters held placards reading “Not in our name”.
“Murdering 4,000+ children is not self-defence,” one of the placards at the protest read as protesters demanded that Israel should stop killing children and stop bombing hospitals.
Ministers had called for the cancellation of the march as it falls on Armistice Day, which marks the end of World War One and commemorates those killed in military action, with Interior Minister Suella Braverman saying that the pro-Palestinian protesters were “hate marchers.”
Skirmishes break out, dozens arrested
Police arrested over 80 far-right counter-protesters to stop them from ambushing the pro-Palestinian rally. Skirmishes broke out between police and the far-right groups that had also descended on London.
Skirmishes broke out near the Cenotaph war memorial early Saturday. Reuters reported that incidents continued throughout the day, with police in riot gear trying to contain protesters near the House of Commons, in train stations, and side streets, with footage showing police officers with batons working to control the crowds. Some protesters were seen throwing bottles and metal barriers at officers.
Met Police said that 82 counter-protesters were arrested, and another 10 arrests were made for other offences.
London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan and Scotland’s first minister, Humza Yousaf, blamed Suella Braverman for inflaming tensions and emboldening the far-right after she accused the police of favouring “pro-Palestinian mobs”.
(With inputs from agencies)