Thousands of people have gathered in London for a pro-Palestinian rally


Thousands of anti-Palestinian protesters marched in London on Saturday, the latest demonstration in the British capital to demand a ceasefire in Gaza and more aid to the war-torn region.

The event, organized by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, started at Russell Square in the city center before heading to Trafalgar Square for a midday rally.

A small number of protesters also staged anti-Israel protests, with lines of police separating the two rallies.

London has seen many pro-Palestinian protests since Israel’s response to the unprecedented Hamas attack on October 7, as well as smaller anti-Israel protests.

The Palestinian rallies have been controversial, drawing criticism for promoting anti-Semitism. Some ruling Conservative lawmakers have called them “hate trips”.

Police have arrested dozens of people for chanting and holding anti-Semitic signs, promoting a banned organization and assaulting emergency workers.

But the organizers insist that they are exercising their democratic rights and that the violators are only a minority of the thousands who turned up.

Sally Worgan, 65, a retired civil servant, traveled from Gloucestershire in the west of England to attend.

“I think it is important for the Palestinian people to know that people support them, that they are not alone,” he told AFP.

“We will continue to march,” Ben Jamal, one of the organizers, told Sky News on Saturday, adding that those who attended wanted “a permanent end” and more aid to the Palestinians in Gaza.

“We already know that 70 percent of the British public according to opinion polls support what we’re doing.”

By midday, London’s Metropolitan Police said officers had arrested one man “on suspicion of committing a terrorist act by soliciting support from an illegal organisation”.

The army said in preparation for Saturday that it has a “strict police policy”, including the need for marchers to follow an approved route and disperse by 5:00 pm (1700 GMT).

“Anyone who fails to comply with the instructions will be dealt with by the officers,” the group added on social media.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak earlier this month asked officers to take strict action against protesters in such incidents, saying they had “made threats, intimidation and organized violence”.



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