Palestine Trafalgar Square protests: Police enact emergency measures as protests and disorder continue

Police bring in emergency powers to cope with pro-Palestine protest
Police in Trafalgar Square at pro-Palestine protestsPolice in Trafalgar Square at pro-Palestine protests
Police in Trafalgar Square at pro-Palestine protests

Police have brought in emergency orders as they try to keep on top of pro-Palestine protests in London.

It comes as thousands of people descended upon central London on Saturday to demand a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

After a day of marches and protests, which earlier saw 11 people arrested, the continued presence in Trafalgar Square has a seen a dispersal order brought in covering the square and much of the surrounding area. It means that anyone who refuses to leave the area when asked can be arrested.

Police in Trafalgar Square at pro-Palestine protestsPolice in Trafalgar Square at pro-Palestine protests
Police in Trafalgar Square at pro-Palestine protests

Police said the order was authorised by Superintendent May-Robinson at 6.43pm 'in order to disperse a group on Trafalgar Square who have been firing fireworks into crowds & towards police officers'. It will remain live until 1am tomorrow.

Simultaneously, a Section 60AA Order was enacted just before 7.30pm. This gives police 'the power to require someone to remove any item that is being used to conceal their identity', which could include balaclavas and scarves. This order applies to the borough of the City of Westminster until 2am.

Meanwhile, the Home Secretary Suella Braverman said that any pro-Palestine protesters who vandalise the Cenotaph should be “put into a jail cell faster than their feet can touch the ground”.

Braverman also said she “won’t hesitate to act” if it is found that police need stronger powers to deal with what she called “utterly odious” behaviour at demonstrations. The senior Conservative, who revealed she has never personally been part of a demonstration, said some elements of the protests had turned into “hate marches”.

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