Remembrance Day Palestine protest: Explosives hurled at police with 126 arrested
“England till I die” clashes between far-right crowds and police in London
Pro-Palestine yobs have hurled explosives and yelled “f*** the pigs” at police and more than 126 people have been arrested following a day of chaos in Central London following the pro-Palestine march which has led to calls for the Met Police chief Sir Mark Rowley to resign.
In a statement on X, the Metropolitan Police said: “Officers have detained a breakaway group of around 150 people from the pro-Palestinian demonstration in Grosvenor Place. The group were firing fireworks and many are wearing face coverings. Officers are using their Section 60 and 60AA powers to detain and search those involved.”
Footage showed yobs launching fireworks at police as conditions deteriorated in central London following a pro-Palestine march from Hyde Park to the US Embassy.
Train stations have also been targeted and Michael Gove was mobbed as he made his way through Victoria Station as he attempted to catch a train. On X, Reform Party leader Richard Tice said: “Suella Braverman was right Hate march, public disorder, antisemitism everywhere Sir Mark Rowley must resign, 9 am Monday morning.”
Elsewhere, police made over 90 arrests of counter-protesters after violence broke out in central London with missiles being thrown and fights breaking out.
The majority of the arrests happened around Tachbrook Street where pictures showed officers tackling men to the ground who were suspected of trying to meet up with the pro-Palestine march.
A pub on Vauxhall Bridge Road close to the march route was also surrounded by police with those inside unable to leave. Crowds of demonstrators had earlier been filmed chanting “You let your country down” and “England till I die” as they appeared to violently push through police lines just after the 11am commemoration of Armistice Day.
The mood turned ugly on a day when the nation mourns its war dead, with far-right activist Tommy Robinson seen among the crowds wearing a poppy and smiling. The Met Police said officers had faced “aggression” after the silence was marked and said counter-demonstrators “threw missiles at officers who tried to engage with them”.
Following the protest, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak condemned the violence from both protesters and counter-protesters. He said: “I condemn the violent, wholly unacceptable scenes we have seen today from the EDL and associated groups and Hamas sympathisers attending the National March for Palestine.
“The despicable actions of a minority of people undermine those who have chosen to express their views peacefully. Remembrance weekend is a time for us to come together as a nation and remember those who fought and died for our freedoms.
“What we have seen today does not defend the honour of our Armed Forces, but utterly disrespects them. That is true for the EDL thugs attacking police officers and trespassing on the Cenotaph, and it is true for those singing antisemitic chants and brandishing pro-Hamas signs and clothing on today’s protest.”
Police estimate that around 300,000 people took part in today’s pro-Palestine march, but there are suggestions it could have been as high as 800,000.
‘THIS LIVE BLOG IS NOW CLOSED – READ COVERAGE BELOW…’
Protesters waving England and British flags with some wearing face coverings
Metropolitan Police investigating pro-Palestine protester
The Metropolitan Police is investigating a protester holding up a placard during today’s protest.
In a statement on X, they said: “Following today’s pro-Palestinian demonstration we’re looking to identify individuals in the thread below. Anyone who can help us identify this person should call 101, giving reference 1235186/23. Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.”
The protester was carrying a placard which showed the Star of David mixed with a Swastika which said that no British politician should be a friend of Israel.
British Transport Police makes eight arrests nationwide during protests
The British Transport Police said it has eight arrests nationwide during today’s operation.
In a statement on X, they said: “We arrested 8 people today in connection with our proactive policing operation to keep all those travelling on the rail network and at stations safe. 7 arrested in London. 1 arrest in Glasgow. Thank you to the public for their patience.”
Nine police officers injured after Met Police makes 126 arrests
Nine police officers have been injured after the Metropolitan Police arrested 126 people.
In a statement, Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist said: “At the end of the PSC march, we once again saw breakaway groups behaving in an intimidating manner.
“Officers intercepted a group of 150 who were wearing face coverings and firing fireworks. Arrests were made after some of the fireworks struck officers in the face.”There were also a number of serious offences identified in relation to hate crime and possible support for proscribed organisations during the protest that we are actively investigating.
“Locating and intercepting suspects in a crowd of the size we saw today will always be challenging, but we were further limited in our ability to do so due to the number of officers we had to deploy, from early in the day, in response to violence from the right-wing groups in central London.”
Boris Johnson releases statement on pro-Palestine protest
Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson has released a statement about today’s pro-Palestine protest.
Writing on X he said: “Almost 80 years after the end of the Second World War it is shocking to hear nakedly anti-Semitic chants on the streets of London today. There are people who plainly want to ignore the Hamas massacre of October 7. They want to wipe Israel off the map. That is what they were chanting for today.
Assistant Met Commissioner slams “deeply concerning” right wing protesters
The Assistant Met Commissioner Matt Twist has slammed the “deeply concerning” right-wing protesters who clashed with police in Central London.
In a statement, he said: “This operation took place in unique circumstances, against a backdrop of conflict in the Middle East, on Armistice Day and following a week of intense debate about protest and policing. These all combined to increase community tensions.
“The extreme violence from the right-wing protestors towards the police today was extraordinary and deeply concerning.
“They arrived early, stating they were there to protect monuments, but some were already intoxicated, aggressive and clearly looking for confrontation.
“Abuse was directed at officers protecting the Cenotaph, including chants of “you’re not English any more”. This group were largely football hooligans from across the UK and spent most of the day attacking or threatening officers who were seeking to prevent them from being able to confront the main march.
“Many in these groups were stopped and searched and weapons including a knife, a baton and a knuckleduster were found as well as class A drugs.
“Thanks to the considerable efforts of our officers, who put themselves in harm’s way, nobody was able to reach the Cenotaph, which was protected at all times.”
Metropolitan Police continue to disperse protesters around Central London
Metropolitan Police are continuing to disperse protesters around Central London.
In a statement on X, they said: “Our officers continue to utilise their powers under S35 to enforce a Dispersal Order for anti-social behaviour. Officers have taken positive action to ensure that London can continue to function normally this evening and will continue to do so, and make arrests where necessary.”
Sadiq Khan condemns ‘far-right thugs’ for attacking the police
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has condemned “far right” thugs for attacking police during today’s pro-Palestine demonstration.
In a statement, Mr Khan said: “I’d like to pay tribute to the Met Police who have dealt with a very difficult day with exceptional professionalism. The overwhelming majority of people who used their democratic right to protest on the streets of London today did so peacefully.
“Sadly however, we have seen far-right thugs attacking the police and some who have used the pro-Palestinian protest to spread hate and racism, including antisemitism. This is unacceptable – as is attempting to intimidate politicians.
“The far-right have clearly been encouraged and emboldened by what they have heard this week, including from senior politicians like the Home Secretary. I hope everyone takes the time to reflect on the impact their words and actions can have on others.
“The Met have my full support in taking action, without fear or favour, against those who broke the law. I continue to support them in taking a zero-tolerance approach against anyone found committing violent offences or spreading hate.”
Sadiq Khan has condemned “far right thugs” who attacked the police