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Tens of thousands of pro-Palestine protesters march from Hyde Park to Israel’s London embassy as they call for a ‘ceasefire now’


Tens of thousands of pro-Palestine marchers are taking to the streets of west London today to demand a ceasefire in Gaza – passing the Israeli Embassy on its path

Police have arrested a woman on suspicion of support for a proscribed organisation, as pro-Palestine marchers gather in Hyde Park ahead of the procession.

Other marchers, some of them children, carried placards declaring ‘I thought Hitler was dead’ and ‘Turns out killing kids is okay, I’m scared for my life’.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign predicted it expected over 200,000 thousands people to join in the rally, which is supported by the Stop The War Coalition and Socialist Worker newspaper.

The Met police posted on X, formerly Twitter, just before 1pm: ‘There has been one arrest so far on suspicion of support for a proscribed organisation in relation to a placard.’

A woman was arrested after being spotted with a cardboard sign stating 'Long Live The Initifada'

A woman was arrested after being spotted with a cardboard sign stating ‘Long Live The Initifada’

Police have arrested a woman on suspicion of support for a proscribed organisation, as pro-Palestine marchers gathered in west London

Police have arrested a woman on suspicion of support for a proscribed organisation, as pro-Palestine marchers gathered in west London

The woman was apprehended after allegedly waving a banner in support of a banned organisation

The woman was apprehended after allegedly waving a banner in support of a banned organisation

She was led away from the procession by officers and bundled into a police vehicle

She was led away from the procession by officers and bundled into a police vehicle

Mounted police watched over the demonstration as participants gathered in Hyde Park

Mounted police watched over the demonstration as participants gathered in Hyde Park

People take part in a pro-Palestine march in central London today, organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign

People take part in a pro-Palestine march in central London today, organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Thousands of demonstrators are taking to the streets of London demanding a ceasefire

Thousands of demonstrators are taking to the streets of London demanding a ceasefire

Protesters waved banners proclaiming 'Free Palestine' as well as other placards showing the faces of innocents killed in the conflict

Protesters waved banners proclaiming ‘Free Palestine’ as well as other placards showing the faces of innocents killed in the conflict

Women hold red-stained bundles signifying children killed in airstrikes in Gaza

Women hold red-stained bundles signifying children killed in airstrikes in Gaza

Pro-Palestinian activists and supporters wave flags and carry placards during a National March for Palestine today

Pro-Palestinian activists and supporters wave flags and carry placards during a National March for Palestine today

Stewards stand outside the Achilles statue in Hyde Park this morning ahead of the demonstration. Over 200,000 protesters haD been predicted to attend

Stewards stand outside the Achilles statue in Hyde Park this morning ahead of the demonstration. Over 200,000 protesters haD been predicted to attend

Banners from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign proclaim 'Free Palestine: End Israeli Occupation' while another reads 'Ceasefire Now'

Banners from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign proclaim ‘Free Palestine: End Israeli Occupation’ while another reads ‘Ceasefire Now’

A map released by the Met police shows the route of the march, beginning at Marble Arch at 1.30pm before heading down Park Lane, then Knightsbridge and Kensington Road

A map released by the Met police shows the route of the march, beginning at Marble Arch at 1.30pm before heading down Park Lane, then Knightsbridge and Kensington Road

Pro-Palestinian protesters will demonstrate near the Israeli embassy on Saturday for the second time since the October 7 attacks (Pictured: A separate rally in London on February 12)

Pro-Palestinian protesters will demonstrate near the Israeli embassy on Saturday for the second time since the October 7 attacks (Pictured: A separate rally in London on February 12)

Police have been repeatedly drafted in to maintain order during marches in recent weeks (Pictured: A protest outside Downing Street on February 12)

Police have been repeatedly drafted in to maintain order during marches in recent weeks (Pictured: A protest outside Downing Street on February 12)

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign estimates 200,000 and 250,000 people are expected to gather for the demonstration

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign estimates 200,000 and 250,000 people are expected to gather for the demonstration

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Israel Embassy in London on October 9 last year - just two days after Hamas' terror attack -  chanting 'free free Palestine' and lighting flares

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Israel Embassy in London on October 9 last year – just two days after Hamas’ terror attack –  chanting ‘free free Palestine’ and lighting flares

The Metropolitan Police said the start time of 1.30pm allows time for a synagogue event to finish. The march began at Marble Arch at 1.30pm and will head down Park Lane, then Knightsbridge and Kensington Road

A spokesman for the force said: ‘This is the first time since a rally on October 9 that protest organisers have decided to hold a demonstration in the vicinity of the Israeli Embassy.

‘However, even though protesters will be closer to the embassy than in recent months, the same exclusion zone that has been in place since mid-October will apply.

‘Participants in the protest will be kept more than 100m away from the embassy grounds, behind barriers controlled by officers. They will not be permitted to enter the area marked in red on the map below and anyone doing so faces arrest.’

The Campaign Against Antisemitism complained that organisers advertised a start time of 12.30pm – but police stated this was the meeting time for protesters and they would not be allowed to start marching for another hour.

The CAS said: ‘In previous weeks, the marches have included people supporting Hamas and openly flaunting their anti-Jewish racism, and congregants leaving synagogue had to walk through them.’

Speakers will address crowds near the Israeli embassy and they must stop by 5pm, while protesters must leave by 6pm, police said.

The Met added: ‘We know there will be some who ask why that is allowed or how that decision was reached. 

‘It is a common misconception that the police can grant or refuse permission for protests to take place which is not the case.’

Today’s protest is only the second to take place near the Israeli Embassy since October 7 last year. 

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Embassy building on October 9 – just two days after Hamas’ terror attack. Clashes took place between rival groups of pro-Israeli and pro-Palestine demonstrators at nearby High Street Kensington station.

‘A real risk of serious disorder’ sufficient for the Met to request that the Home Secretary ban the protest has not been seen at recent demonstrations and is not expected today, the Met added.

Protesters will be kept more than 100m away from the embassy grounds, behind barriers controlled by officers and face arrest if they do not do so.

Precautions have also been taken to ensure the presence of protesters does not unnecessarily disrupt other sensitive premises, including synagogues, either near the start or along the route.

Conditions under Section 12 of the Public Order Act meaning that any person participating in the march must not deviate from the route.

Police have also said no gazebos or other stalls can be erected in a specified area at Marble Arch.

The use of further police powers will be kept under review.

All officers ‘will be briefed to be on the lookout for offensive placards and banners’ and police teams will monitor CCTV of the demonstration as it happens.

Commander Kyle Gordon, who will lead the policing operation, said: ‘We are there to ensure protests take place lawfully, minimising disruption to the life of the wider public and in a way that gives due consideration to the cumulative impact on London’s communities and those who feel most vulnerable in the current climate.

Palestinian and Israeli supporters clashed at High Street Kensington station on October 9 last year, near the Israeli embassy, as police desperately tried and keep the peace

Palestinian and Israeli supporters clashed at High Street Kensington station on October 9 last year, near the Israeli embassy, as police desperately tried and keep the peace

Israeli flags were being waved while Palestinian posters can be seen in the background of the disorder on October 9 last year

Israeli flags were being waved while Palestinian posters can be seen in the background of the disorder on October 9 last year

Protesters waved Palestinian flags and held up placards near the Israeli Embassy on October 9 last year

Protesters waved Palestinian flags and held up placards near the Israeli Embassy on October 9 last year

Smoke fills the air near the Israeli Embassy in west London as pro-Palestine protesters carried out their demonstration last October

Smoke fills the air near the Israeli Embassy in west London as pro-Palestine protesters carried out their demonstration last October

Police officers previously have had to escort protesters down to the platform as tensions threatened to boil over

Police officers previously have had to escort protesters down to the platform as tensions threatened to boil over

‘The protests we have seen since October have thankfully been largely peaceful and we must take this into account in our policing approach.

‘I hope the same will be true this Saturday.

‘Unfortunately, despite this, we have regularly seen officers having to deal with offences related to placards and other hate speech.

‘We do not underestimate the fear this causes, nor the impact of such criminal and unacceptable behaviour on wider community relations.

‘I would appeal to all those attending the protest on Saturday to act within the law and to consider the impact of their actions on the safety and security of others. We will not hesitate to take action against those who fail to do so.’

At least 28,663 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since Israel began its military operation in the strip in October in response to the October 7 attacks, where militants killed some 1,200 people and took another 250 hostage.

Israel is being urged not to send ground forces into Rafah on the Egyptian border, where many of the strip’s citizens are now living after areas closer to their homes became engulfed by fighting.

PSC director Ben Jamal said: ‘At each stage of Israel’s genocidal attack on Gaza we’ve seen horrors that we never thought possible.

‘The images this week from Israel’s bombardment of Rafah, of children with limbs torn apart, should be seared on the conscience of the world.

‘Despite mounting pressure from world leaders, and in defiance of the ICJ ruling, the Israeli government has made clear that it is about to launch an attack on Rafah that will lead to unprecedented levels of carnage.

‘The moral imperative is clear.

‘An immediate ceasefire is a simple, absolute necessity.

‘The legal imperative is also clear, the UK must abide by its responsibilities under the Genocide Convention to cease any activities that make it complicit.

‘Our government and opposition are guilty of an historic failure of leadership and principle.

‘They have chosen to take the side of those committing genocide over those who are its victims, and over the demands of international law.

‘We, with the majority of people in the UK, will continue to hold them to account on our marches, protests, campaigns and in the voting booths.’





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