Fury grows over ugly pro-Palestine protests in London
Find them: Fury grows over ugly pro-Palestine protests in London that saw Tube crowd chant ‘smash the Zionist settler state’ and demand ‘intifada’ against Israel on ‘Day of Action’ that saw thousands take to the streets
Activists packed on the crowded Tube train heard hollering offensive chant
British Transport Police said it is investigating but no arrest have been made yet
Fury is growing over the ugly pro-Palestine protests in London yesterday which saw a crowd on the Tube demand ‘intifada’ against Israel.
Calls have been made for activists to be arrested after video emerged of protesters on their latest ‘Day of Action’ huddled on a busy carriage hollering the offensive chant described by the Chief Rabbi as ‘hateful extremism’, while Tory MP Stephen Crabb said they went ‘way beyond the limits of what should be acceptable for any political demonstration’.
In the footage a drum is banged as people chant ‘from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’ – a slogan interpreted as calling for the destruction of Israel. British Transport Police is investigating although no arrests have been made.
Elsewhere, families were hounded by protesters as they left a McDonald’s in the capital and chanted ‘shame on you’ at a child amid social media posts suggesting the fast-food chain’s outlets in Israel had dished out 100,000 free meals to the country’s soldiers.
In other footage, poppy sellers outside a train station looked on helplessly as pro-Palestine protesters surrounded them and staged a sit-in protest.
Pro-Palestine protesters crowded on a busy Tube train in London were heard calling for an ‘intifada revolution’. The term ‘intifada’ was described as ‘hateful extremism by the Chief Rabbi
The 10-second clip posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, shows people crowded on a busy Tube.
A drum is pounded as a man holding a megaphone leads the chant by shouting ‘from the river to the sea’, as protesters bellow back: ‘Palestine will be free.’
They are then heard saying: ‘There is only one solution, intifada revolution.’
Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis wrote in The Times yesterday calling for ‘moral courage’ against using such terms as ‘intifada’.
READ MORE: Dismayed poppy sellers surrounded by pro-Palestinian protesters, a crowd chanting ‘shame on you’ at child leaving McDonald’s and tube passengers shouting ‘smash the Zionist state’ – as Met makes 29 arrests
He said: ‘The world feels different because at the very moment when it should be clearer than ever what is meant by Hamas’s “resistance”, “jihad”, “uprising”, or “intifada”, more and more people are now openly calling for these things in cities across Britain and the world.
‘This is hateful extremism.’
Mr Crabb said the ‘clearly anti-Semitic’ chants were ‘outright calls for violence and killing’, reported The Sun, and that he hoped the Met would take ‘swift action’.
‘They are clearly anti-Semitic and I hope the Met will take swift action,’ he said.
Fellow Conservative MP Bob Blackburn said they ‘should be arrested and whatever evidence there is, it should be utilised to prosecute them’.
In another clip on X, the same group of activists repeatedly shout ‘smash the Zionist settler state’.
While in another video a group of women walk onto the platform past bystanders at High Street Kensington Tube station and chant Israel is a ‘terror state’.
A spokesman for BTP said: ‘Abuse, intimidation or violence, especially that which is religiously motivated, will never be tolerated and our officers will take robust action against those who seek to cause harm or spread hate.
‘We have enhanced our patrols across the network and are calling for anybody who witnesses or experiences hate crime or any other threatening or concerning behaviour to report it to us so we can take immediate action.’
The activists’ latest protests ended in ugly scenes as people surrounded British Legion poppy sellers at a train station and chanted ‘shame on you’ at a young child leaving a McDonald’s – while fireworks were launched at police.
Heartbreaking images showed dismayed poppy sellers shamelessly surrounded by chanting pro-Palestine activists in Charing Cross station, prompting condemnation from veterans minister Johnny Mercer, who offered to ‘rattle a tin’ with the charitable trio.
Dismayed British Royal Legion poppy sellers could only look on after pro-Palestine protesters engaged in a sit-in protest at Charing Cross station
Images of the charitable trio surrounded by protesters prompted veterans minister Johnny Mercer to offer to ‘rattle a tin with them’ on Sunday
A youngster clutches a small box from his McDonald’s meal as his family steer him through a crowd of pro-Palestinian activists shouting ‘shame on you’
Police arrested 29 people on Saturday in connection with various alleged offences linked to the pro-Palestine protests
Police arrest a man who allegedly carried a sign that bore a threat to blow up the House of Lords on Saturday
Police scuffle with pro-Palestinian protesters near Piccadilly Circus on Saturday during the latest ‘day of action’ since Hamas’ terror attack in Israel on October 7
Videos shared on social media of activists travelling to Trafalgar Square – where largely peaceful protests gave way to ugly scenes of fireworks being hurled at police – showed protesters chanting to ‘smash the Zionist settler state’.
And families leaving a McDonald’s in the capital were hounded amid a row over Israeli franchised restaurants giving free and discounted food to IDF soldiers. Other franchises in the Middle East have distanced themselves from the stunt.
The Metropolitan Police says it has arrested 29 people in connection with crimes ranging from terrorism offences to breaching a dispersal order that was enacted by the force after fireworks were hurled at officers, injuring four.
At Charing Cross station, dismayed looking poppy sellers could only look on as pro-Palestine activists staged a sit-in on Saturday afternoon.
READ MORE: Pro-Palestine protesters in London hold up banner of Hamas bulldozer with the slogan ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’ as Met make arrests
BTP temporarily closed the station to passengers while the protest took place, before ‘actively engaging with protesters’ to bring the action to a close. No arrests were made.
Veterans minister Johnny Mercer, having been made aware of the plight, has offered to help the British Legion volunteers on Sunday, writing on X, formerly Twitter: ‘If anyone knows these poppy sellers please DM me. I will try and rattle a tin with them tomorrow.’
He added: ‘London is a big city; there are plenty of areas to protest – the right for which Servicemen and women are proud to serve – without appearing to try and intimidate ordinary citizens trying to collect a bit of cash for Poppy Day – a non-political symbol.’
Elsewhere, grinning pro-Palestine activists could be seen laughing to themselves as they hounded families leaving McDonald’s on Saturday.
A young child, clutching a small bright red and yellow McDonald’s box, was among those leaving the restaurant under the watchful eye of police.
The fast food chain has been the focus of a number of pro-Gazan protest actions – including the release of mice in restaurants – because Israeli franchises have been offering discounted food to Israel Defence Forces soldiers.
Other McDonald’s franchises in the Middle East – including those in Oman and Pakistan – have distanced themselves from the Israeli franchise’s actions, reports Newsweek.
And McDonalds’ parent corporation has slammed the ‘disinformation and inaccurate reports’ around the controversy in remarks reported by BBC News.
A spokesperson said: ‘McDonald’s Corporation is not funding or supporting any governments involved in this conflict, and any actions from our local developmental licensee business partners were made independently without McDonald’s consent or approval.
‘Our hearts are with all of the communities and families impacted by this crisis. We abhor violence of any kind and firmly stand against hate speech, and we will always proudly open our doors to everyone.’
Police chiefs have slammed the ‘disappointing’ behavior in some quarters as protests took place across the country in the latest consecutive weekend of action following the start of Israel’s counter attack against Hamas following the October 7 attacks.
Protesters en route to Trafalgar Square from Kensington – where the Israeli embassy in London is located – shouted chants to ‘smash the Zionist settler state’ and called for ‘intifada (uprising) revolution’.
Fireworks have been hurled at the police as they stood on the steps of Trafalgar Square while monitoring pro-Palestine protests
A police officer holds a sheet of paper that appears to carry a threat to blow up the House of Lords
A protester in Trafalgar Square held up a sign depicting a bulldozer ploughing through a chain-link fence, reminiscent of a photograph taken on October 7 when Hamas invaded Israel
Police in Glasgow had to separate pro-Palestine activists from a group who held up an Israeli flag in solidarity with the country
Protests in Manchester during the pro-Palestine ‘day of action’ saw activists occupy Manchester Piccadilly train station
A woman walks through Newcastle city centre in a sheet covered in red paint during a protest on Saturday
It came after protesters waved a banner depicting a bulldozer breaking down an Israeli border fence, a protester waved a sign of an Israel flag being put into a bin, and a man was arrested with a sign bearing a threat to ‘blow up’ the House of Lords.
It marked a further sullying of largely peaceful action that has repeatedly been marred by tasteless signs and chants appearing to endorse the actions of Hamas after it slaughtered 1,400 Israelis, mostly civilians, in a terror attack on October 7.
The Met enacted a dispersal order at 6.43pm after fireworks were launched in Trafalgar Square, with some directed at officers standing on the steps in front of the National Gallery who were monitoring the protests that were attended by some 30,000 people.
Videos shared on social media showed fireworks being launched at police officers who lined the stairs in front of the National Gallery to monitor the protests, believed to have been attended by more than 30,000 people.
Some 1,300 officers were on duty for the protests.
Commander Karen Findlay, who is responsible for policing across the capital this week, said: ‘The vast majority of people demonstrated peacefully during an extremely busy day in central London, with protests in a number of locations requiring a policing presence.
‘It is disappointing that various splinter groups were again responsible for behaviour which has no place in London and we are determined to deal with this robustly. Fireworks were directed towards officers and four officers were injured.
‘Today, we dealt with breakaway groups from the main protest quickly. Officers intervened to prevent further disruption, using the full range of powers at their disposal. This effective intervention ensured Londoners were able to go about their business.
‘I would like to say thank you to all the officers on duty today, including the support we had from a number of colleagues on mutual aid from other forces, all of whom worked tirelessly throughout a long day.’
In all, the Met made 29 arrests, including: nine for public order offences, of which two were racially aggravated; two on suspicion of terror offences related to the wording of a banner; three for assaulting a police officer; and 10 for breaching a dispersal order.
Arrests were also made for inciting racial hatred, causing actual bodily harm, affray, violent disorder and possession of an offensive weapon.
The clashes erupted late on Saturday following nationwide protests on a ‘day of action’ in which activists in 40 locations across the UK called for a ceasefire.
The Metropolitan Police shared an image of officers on the steps of Trafalgar Square in front of the National Gallery after announcing that a dispersal order was in effect
The dispersal order covers large parts of the London borough of Westminster
A line of police officers scatter pro-Palestine protesters on Whitehall on Saturday night after the Met enacted a dispersal order
A man is restrained by police officers wearing riot helmets on Whitehall, just south of Trafalgar Square, on Saturday
A woman wearing a Palestinian keffiyeh scarf reacts as police move in to disperse protesters
Police clash with protesters in London on Saturday during pro-Palestinian protests on the latest ‘day of action’
The clashes erupted following nationwide protests on a ‘day of action’ in which activists in 40 locations across the UK called for a ceasefire
A woman yells at a group of men holding an Israel flag on Glasgow’s Jamaica Street on Saturday
Police restrain a woman on Piccadilly Circus during protests in central London on Saturday
Pro-Palestinian protesters gathered at Charing Cross Station on Saturday – they later dispersed after the British Transport Police intervened
Royal British Legion fundraisers sit at their table selling poppies and other charitable goods surrounded by pro-Palestine protesters at Charing Cross
Activists climbed the fountains in Trafalgar Square to wave flags and shout slogans in support of the Palestinian people
Orthodox Jewish men, believed to be aligned with the Neturei Karta fringe movement, turned out at the pro-Palestine event in Trafalgar Square on Saturday
Protesters bore effigies of dead babies and children at the Trafalgar Square rally – in reference to the 3,000-plus children said to have died in retaliatory strikes carried out by Israel
Protesters lay out framed photographs of children said to have been killed in Israel’s campaign of air strikes and shelling in Gaza
Protesters had earlier lit flares and waved flags as they called for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, which has killed some 1,400 Israelis and over 9,000 Palestinians since October 7.
Tensions had flared between protesters and police throughout the day as protests also took place outside the BBC, while sit-in protests took place in Oxford Circus and at Charing Cross railway stations before being dispersed.
Activists then poured into Trafalgar Square in the afternoon for the mass action, which saw former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and comedian Alexei Sayle address the crowds from a stage set up in the square.
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Thousands of protesters packed out Trafalgar Square in scenes that were largely peaceful.
Some waved effigies representing the bodies of babies and children in a bid to highlight the 3,000-plus children alleged to have been killed in Israeli retaliatory strikes since October 7, according to the Hamas-run Gazan health authority.
Photographs of some of the younger victims of Israel’s counter-attack, which has raged on without pause for almost a month, were laid out in frames in Trafalgar Square during the protest.
However, the action was marred by people carrying signs that appeared to express support for Hamas.
One protester waved a placard on Saturday that depicted a bulldozer ploughing through a chain link fence, with the controversial slogan: ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’.
The drawing appeared to be a reference to a photo of a bulldozer crashing through the Israel-Gaza border on October 7, when Hamas terrorists slaughtered Israeli civilians.
At least one protester was seen carrying a banner which read ‘Let’s keep the world clean’ with a picture of an Israeli flag being thrown into a bin.
A similar banner displayed at a protest in Warsaw was condemned by the Israeli ambassador to Poland as ‘blatant antisemitism’.
Some demonstrators climbed on top of the square’s famous fountains as the mostly peaceful group waved flags and banners and let off fireworks on Saturday afternoon.
Security was tight around the Cenotaph on London’s Whitehall on Saturday – amid fears that it could be vandalised during further pro-Palestine action on Armistice Day next week
Protests also took place elsewhere in London – outside the BBC at the top of Regent Street as well as at Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus, where sit-ins were staged
A pro-Palestine rally took place in Newcastle on Saturday afternoon, attended by hundreds of people
Hundreds of people also turned out for action in Manchester, which saw activists descend on the city’s Piccadilly railway station
In Belfast, protesters left teddy bears outside the US Consulate. The US House of Representatives passed a Republican plan to provide $14.3bn in aid to Israel on Thursday
A woman carries an effigy of a dead child at a pro-Palestine rally held in Belfast on Saturday
People protest outside the Home Office on Saturday ahead of the Trafalgar Square rally. Home Secretary Suella Braverman has been criticised for claiming that pro-Palestine protests are ‘hate marches’
Images showed one man being restrained by police who could be seen holding a sign that read: ‘I am going to blow up the House of Lords’.
The Met said it rolled out hi-tech crime-busting facial recognition technology that helped to identify, among others, a man suspected of making antisemitic comments during a speech on Saturday.
Officers arrested a 24-year-old man on suspicion of a racially aggravated offence after footage was shared on social media of a speaker at a pro-Palestine march of a man who allegedly suggested the October 7 attacks were the ‘biggest blow to Zionism that we’ve seen in our lifetimes’.
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Protesters also gathered for a sit-in at Charing Cross station, which is near to Trafalgar Square in central London, on Saturday evening.
BTP said it dispersed protesters under the Public Order Act 2023, without making any arrests.
It also confirmed on Saturday that it is making inquiries into chanting on the Tube network by demonstrators in the capital.
In one video highlighted to the Metropolitan Police on X, formerly known as Twitter, what appear to be pro-Palestinian supporters can be heard chanting: ‘Smash the Zionist settler state.’
Others during the protests chanted ‘from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’, despite controversy around the slogan’s meaning.
Among those protesting in the square appeared to be members of Neturei Karta, a fringe group of Orthodox Jews that does not believe in the need for the state of Israel.
In Manchester, the British Transport Police said it arrested one person on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence. Around 400 to 500 people protested at the station, officers say.
In Belfast on Saturday afternoon, pro-Palestinian activists marched from Queen’s University to the US consulate building in the south of the city.
The rally organised near the consulate heard speeches and chants condemning Israel’s actions in Gaza and the United States’s support for the Israeli stance.
A protest in Glasgow saw the BBC headquarters in the Scottish city targeted by demonstrators, with activists holding up mock body bags.
Police also had to separate pro-Palestine activists from a small group who held up an Israeli flag in solidarity with the country.
In Newcastle, several women were pictured holding bloody effigies of dead babies while one dressed in a white shroud covered in fake blood.
Police in London on Saturday night as a dispersal order was enacted after fireworks were launched at officers by pro-Palestine protesters
Activists in Glasgow react to a group of people holding an Israel flag in Glasgow on Saturday
Protesters calling for an end to the ‘siege of Gaza’ from the Stop the War Coalition march in Glasgow
Bloodied children’s dolls were held aloft as hundreds of Palestine supporters marched through the city centre to protest against the ongoing war.
Flags and placards reading ‘Freedom for Palestine’ and ‘End the Genocide’ were waved in the air by members of the Newcastle Palestine Solidarity Campaign (NPSC) and Newcastle Stop the War, who organised the event.
The Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, has previously branded the ‘from the river to the sea’ slogan antisemitic and claimed that it is ‘widely understood’ to call for the destruction of Israel – a claim pro-Palestinian protesters have contested.
The Home Secretary has also previously caused controversy by describing the demonstrators taking to the streets in support of a ceasefire in Gaza as being involved in ‘hate marches’.
Some pro-Palestine marches have been sullied by activists who have allegedly expressed support for Hamas, a proscribed terror group in the UK.
The Met Police has charged two women with terror offences after they allegedly wore images of paragliders to protests last month – in apparent reference to Hamas fighters crossing Israel’s border by air to indiscriminately kill civilians during the October 7 attacks.
A group of campaigners also gathered outside the Home Office in Westminster in opposition to Ms Braverman’s comments on refugees and tents pitched by homeless people in public spaces.
The Prime Minister and the Home Secretary have expressed concern about the prospect of further pro-Palestine protests next Saturday, November 11, during Armistice Day.
Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley has promised to take a ‘robust approach’ and to use ‘all the powers available’ to ensure commemorative events are ‘not undermined’.
But demonstration organisers in London have pledged to avoid the Whitehall area where the Cenotaph war memorial – the focus of national remembrance events – is located.