Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took part in a pro-Palestinian march through central London today, with police arresting around 100 far-right counter-protesters to prevent them from attacking the main rally, Reuters reported.
According to London police, around 300,000 people took part in the pro-Palestinian march, while organizers said the number of demonstrators was close to 800,000.
Representatives of far-right organizations also arrived in the British capital and clashed with law enforcement because the pro-Palestinian demonstration coincided with Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War, when Britain commemorates those who died in the wars. Law enforcement reported several hundred counter-protesters.
“From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” chanted some of the participants in the procession in support of the Palestinians. Many Jews consider it anti-Semitic and a call to eradicate Israel, Reuters notes. Demonstrators also held up placards that read: “Free Palestine,” “Stop the slaughter,” and “Stop bombing Gaza.”
Clashes broke out between counter-protesters and police near the Cenotaph war memorial, BTA reported.
Incidents continued throughout the day, with riot police trying to contain demonstrators near the House of Commons, at train stations and elsewhere. London police later said 82 counter-protesters had been arrested to prevent tensions from escalating. He also had 10 arrests for other violations.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said holding a pro-Palestinian march on Armistice Day was “disrespectful” and called on the Cabinet to call off the demonstration, which was the largest pro-Palestinian demonstration in the British capital to date.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Scottish First Minister Hamza Yousaf accused Home Secretary Suella Braverman of stoking tensions and emboldening the far right after she accused the police of supporting “pro-Palestinian mobs”.
Some 21,000 people took part in a pro-Palestinian rally in Brussels today, and in Paris left-wing MPs were among some 16,000 demonstrators who marched with Palestinian flags and banners to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.