There were going to be about 2,000 police officers stationed in London on Saturday, including guards at the country’s main war memorial, as thousands of people were anticipated to congregate in the UK capital for a pro-Palestinian demonstration.
Numerous prior protests included antisemitic outbursts, cries to destroy Israel, and people celebrating Hamas.
Pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli chanting has also been heard from crowds on public transit on several occasions as they get to and from the rallies.
1,850 cops will be stationed in London for the protest, according to the police. Police stated in a statement on Friday that they “know the cumulative impact” that ongoing protests, rising tensions, and an increase in hate crimes are having around London, as well as the fear and concern that our Jewish communities are experiencing.
According to the police, people have a right to feel secure in their community and to know that they can move about London without fear of abuse or intimidation.
According to the news, organizers anticipate that over 500,000 protesters will attend the event. Protesters are expected to meet in Hyde Park before heading to the US Embassy.
Pro-Palestinian protestors have been warned that they may be detained if they gather at the Cenotaph war memorial. The planned itinerary for Saturday’s march does not include a stop near the monument, which is just meters away from Parliament.
The government has chastised organizers for staging the march on November 11, Armistice Day, the anniversary of World War I’s end.
The march takes place a day before the official Remembrance Day. Sunday remembrance, when King Charles III, top politicians, officials, military officials, and soldiers lay wreaths at the Cenotaph war monument in central London to remember Britain’s war dead from all conflicts.
The Metropolitan Police further stated that they were collaborating with forces outside of London to guarantee that convoys of cars entering the city while flying flags and/or yelling antisemitic epithets would not approach Jewish neighborhoods. They further stated that any offense committed by anyone in a convoy will also be “dealt with.”
Pro-Palestinian Protestors Have Been Warned
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak asked demonstrators to be “mindful of the fear and sorrow in Jewish and Muslim populations” on Friday in a statement that was obtained by the BBC.
Sunak stated that Remembrance Weekend is a time of serious meditation, unity, and celebration of our common British values.
Along with worries about the anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian demonstrators, authorities are reportedly also ready for far-right groups to take action.
Tommy Robinson, the founder of the English Defence League, reportedly stated that members of his far-right organization are “mobilizing” to be in the capital, according to News.
Another far-right organization, the Democratic Football Lads Alliance, stated on Facebook on Friday that its supporters will protect those who want to pay tribute to Our Fallen Legends at the Cenotaph War Memorial.
The Metropolitan Police announced that the department would be “busy” this weekend.
The force posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that officers’ top responsibility is to keep everyone safe, regardless of whether they are protesting or paying their respects for memory. Though our policing strategy covers all of London, Whitehall and the Cenotaph will receive special attention.
Since the conflict started on October 7, when 3,000 Hamas militants surged into Israel, killing almost 1,200 people, most of them civilians who were cruelly killed, and kidnapping at least 240 hostages, pro-Palestinian marches have taken place every weekend in London and other British towns.
Deepening a political conflict started by the Israel-Hamas war, Britain’s interior minister earlier this week accused the police of being more indulgent toward pro-Palestinian activists than other organizations.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman accused London’s Metropolitan Police Service of disregarding lawbreaking by “pro-Palestinian mobs” in an extremely unprecedented attack on law enforcement. She labeled protestors demanding an end to hostilities in Gaza as “hate marchers.”