Pro-Palestine Protest in Central London
A protest in central London, showing support for Palestine, resulted in the arrest of seven individuals, according to the Metropolitan Police.
Among those detained, four were suspected of breaching Section 60AA, two faced public order offense charges, and one was arrested for criminal damage.
Policing Operation and Crowd Dispersal
The Metropolitan Police conducted a substantial policing operation in central London, which remained active until 5.30 pm.
Most of the crowd dispersed at the end of the procession.
Removal of Orders
The orders imposing a Section 12 of the Public Order Act, mandating adherence to the organized demonstration route, and a Section 60AA power, requiring the removal of items concealing identity (e.g., masks), have been lifted. However, the Section 60AA order will be subject to review for potential reinstatement.
Section 14 Order in Kensington
A Section 14 order, prohibiting assembly in an area of Kensington High Street, remains in effect.
Protest and Solidarity for Palestine
Thousands of individuals assembled in central London for a pro-Palestine protest. Demonstrators marched from Portland Place to Whitehall, displaying placards that conveyed the message “free Palestine” and draping themselves in the Palestinian flag.
Chants and Police Presence
During the march, chants of “Rishi Sunak, shame on you” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” resonated among the crowd.
The Metropolitan Police deployed over 1,000 officers to oversee the demonstration.
Warnings and Arrests
Prior to the protest, participants were cautioned that showing support for Hamas, including displaying a flag in its support, constituted an offense that could lead to arrest.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor stressed that supporting proscribed organizations is illegal, and individuals displaying flags in support of such groups would face arrest.
Protests in Other UK Cities
Similar rallies expressing solidarity with Palestine were held in Manchester, Edinburgh, and various regions of the UK.
This demonstration took place as Palestinians in northern Gaza began evacuating the area in response to Israeli military orders, anticipating a ground invasion.
International Concern and Humanitarian Crisis
The United Nations, human rights organizations, and others have voiced profound concern about the impact of Israeli actions on civilians.
The death toll continues to rise due to airstrikes and a siege on the territory, leading to significant displacement and casualties.
UK Government’s Evacuation Efforts
Amid escalating conflict, the UK Government is making efforts to evacuate British nationals from the region.
An RAF flight transported passengers to Cyprus to ensure their safety, given the limited availability of commercial flights.
Casualty Figures and Displacement
Reports indicate that at least three Britons have died during the recent hostilities in Israel, with concerns that the number may be higher.
The Palestinian Health Authority reports a substantial death toll and a significant number of people displaced due to Israeli airstrikes.
Violence in Israel and the West Bank
Israel has reported a notable number of casualties, and there have been fatalities in the West Bank as well. The situation continues to unfold with grave humanitarian consequences.