The London police stated in a press release stated that “officers have faced aggression from counterprotesters who are in the area in significant numbers.” It added that the protesters weren’t one cohesive group and that they “confronted and threw missiles at officers who tried to engage with them” as they moved towards different components of town, together with Chinatown.
“Officers are keeping track of them as they do,” the police stated, including that if their intention was to confront the principle pro-Palestinian protest, then “we will use all the powers and tactics available to us to prevent that from happening.”
The police later stated that they had detained a “large group” of counterprotesters believed to have been a part of the sooner dysfunction.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who’s accountable for policing within the nation, argued this previous week that the timing of the pro-Palestinian march was “provocative and disrespectful.” Ms. Braverman known as for the march to be banned.
Under British regulation, the police can apply for a ban if there’s a danger of great public dysfunction, however Britain’s most senior police officer stated that threshold had not been met on this case. “The laws created by Parliament are clear,” Mark Rowley, the Met Police’s chief commissioner, stated in a press release on Tuesday. “There is no absolute power to ban protest, therefore there will be a protest this weekend.”
After assembly with Mr. Rowley and in search of assurances that the police would safeguard the remembrance occasions, Mr. Sunak issued a press release saying he accepted that it might go forward. But the next day, Ms. Braverman wrote an opinion article that accused the police of bias and described attendees of earlier protests as “hate marchers,” “Islamists” and “mobs,” regardless that previous demonstrations have been principally peaceable.
Mr. Sunak’s spokesperson stated that the article, which drew fierce criticism, had not been permitted and that Downing Street was investigating the circumstances surrounding its publication.
Ben Jamal, the director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, one of many British teams that has organized the weekly rallies, known as Ms. Braverman’s language “reckless” and “deeply irresponsible.” Mr. Jamal, who’s of Palestinian and British descent, stated the group had been in contact with the police for the reason that earliest demonstration due to the variety of protesters concerned, “and we need to know we can do that safely.”
On Saturday, individuals traveled by bus and practice from across the nation to attend the march, at the same time as some feared that Ms. Braverman’s stance had inspired far-right activists and commentators to induce individuals to collect in London for a counterdemonstration.
As the protest acquired underway in Hyde Park, tens of 1000’s had been gathered, waving massive Gazan flags within the vivid sunshine and carrying placards studying “End the siege” and “Cease-fire now.”
The demonstrators represented a broad swath of the inhabitants: households with infants in strollers, youngsters chatting and laughing with flags draped over their shoulders, an older man who walked slowly however joined the mass of individuals because it progressed down the park’s predominant avenue.