Chaos Erupts as Pro-Palestine Activists Clash with Tory Councillor in Heated Chorley Council Meeting Over Gaza Ceasefire

Chaos Erupts as Pro-Palestine Activists Clash with Tory Councillor in Heated Chorley Council Meeting Over Gaza Ceasefire

A recent council meeting in Chorley, Lancashire, turned chaotic as pro-Palestine protesters disrupted the proceedings, leading to scuffles when a Tory councillor attempted to restore order.

The incident unfolded during a budget debate when activist Jenny Hurley and a group of demonstrators “hijacked” the meeting.

Councillor Craige Southern, in an attempt to regain control, exclaimed, ‘It’s Chorley, not bloody Gaza!’

Altercation and Accusations

The situation escalated when Councillor Southern pushed Hurley out of the chamber, alleging he felt intimidated and threatened by the activists and was concerned for everyone’s safety.

Hurley accused the councillor of assault, while Southern defended his actions, stating that he was protecting himself and others from what he described as “threatening and anti-democratic bullies.”

Video Circulation and Activist’s Response

The incident gained attention as Hurley shared a video on social media, accusing Councillor Southern of assault during their attempt to question the council about its stance on the Gaza conflict.

The video captured the chaotic scene, including the moment Southern pushed Hurley out of the chamber.

Council Meeting Disruption

During the meeting, Hurley redirected her question about housing in the borough to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, criticizing the council for not passing a motion for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The disruption led to the suspension of the meeting, with councillors and the mayor leaving the chamber.

External Factors and Parliamentary Connection

The incident occurred in the constituency of House of Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, who recently broke parliamentary convention in handling a debate on Gaza, citing concerns about MPs’ security.

Outside the meeting, the phrase ‘from the river to the sea,’ considered anti-Semitic, was projected onto the Elizabeth Tower.

Escalation and Police Intervention

As the chaos unfolded, other residents joined in expressing their views, with one resident asking for time to speak. The situation intensified, with shouting, singing, and the display of protest signs.

The council chamber witnessed a further escalation, leading to police intervention and the removal of protesters waving Palestinian flags.

Councillor’s Defense and Perspective

Councillor Southern vehemently denied assaulting Hurley, emphasizing that he believes in the rule of law and democracy.

He expressed frustration with what he referred to as a “baying mob” that disrupted the democratic process, leading to the suspension of the meeting.

Southern underscored that Chorley, as a small market town, has no influence over events thousands of miles away in Gaza.

Upholding Democratic Values

Councillor Southern, reflecting on the incident, asserted his commitment to free speech but emphasized the importance of preventing the imposition of will through disruptive means.

He insisted that Chorley Council’s primary focus is on local issues and legitimate democratic debate, expressing a willingness to take a stand against interruptions in the future.

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