Police gather at the memorial in central London after Armistice Day commemorations on Saturday.
London, United Kingdom
About 300,000 people took part in a large pro-Palestinian march in London on Saturday, with police arresting dozens of counter-protesters for trying to confront the demonstrators.
The Hyde Park Corner area in central London witnessed a heavy police presence while demonstrators chanted, “Free, free Palestine” and “Ceasefire now.” They were also heard chanting, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be liberated!”
A London Metropolitan Police spokesman told CNN that an estimated 300,000 people attended the demonstration, which coincided with the annual commemoration of Armistice Day and Veterans Day in the United States.
Police said they arrested 82 counter-demonstrators “to prevent disruption to public order.” They said they “faced aggression from opposition demonstrators.” Who stormed the area “in large numbers” as the march escalated.
One pro-Palestinian protester told CNN she was “astonished by the hypocrisy of those who support Ukraine but not Palestine.”
She added: “Some politicians may be on our side, but they are afraid to speak out.”
Another protester said the number of people who participated in the march was “inspiring.” “We need to speak out for the voiceless,” they added.
Police had promised to use “all powers and tactics at our disposal” to stop counter-protesters confronting the pro-Palestinian march.
Earlier in the day, a CNN team on the ground heard shouts and observed a heavy police presence as a group of far-right protesters attempted to storm the war memorial that had been placed in a restricted zone for protection.
Far-right organizer Tommy Robinson led a small but noisy demonstration to try to reach the memorial, a symbolic landmark located in Whitehall, the London borough where the Prime Minister and government departments reside.
Within 11y 11 oclocky Day 11y This month, the UK traditionally observed a two-minute silence to commemorate the moment of silence of the guns marking the end of the First World War in 1918.
Carlos Jasso/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Attendees pay their respects at the memorial before a pro-Palestinian march.
A video posted on the ground by anti-racism group Hope Not Hate showed far-right protesters dressed in black pushing police lines at various points around Whitehall.
Disturbances follow a Political disagreement Because of the pro-Palestinian protests earlier this week when British Home Secretary Suella Braverman went off script to accuse the police of being too lenient with the protesters.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak initially tried to prevent the pro-Palestinian protest from going ahead.
While Sunak later agreed that the march would take place, he stuck to his line that choosing to protest this weekend was “not only disrespectful but offensive to our sincere gratitude to the memory of those who have given so much so that we can live in freedom and dignity”. Peace today.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the disruption at the London memorial on Saturday was a “direct result” of Braverman’s words.
“The scenes of chaos we have witnessed by the far-right at the memorial are a direct result of the Home Secretary’s words. The police job has become more difficult,” Khan said on social media, adding that the London Metropolitan Police had “its full support to take action against anyone.” He spreads hatred and breaks the law.”
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