Pro-Palestinian march: Met police arrest dozens of counter-protestors to “prevent a breach of the peace”
Dozens of counter-protesters have been arrested during the pro-Palestinian march through London today
Dozens of people have been arrested protesting against a pro-Palestinian demonstration in central London.
A total of 82 people were arrested in Tachbrook Street, Pimlico, to “prevent a breach of the peace” as the march passed through the capital, the Met police said. They were part of a “large group” of counter-protesters who had “tried to reach the main protest march”, a spokesperson added.
Reports suggested some people were detained and prevented from leaving the nearby White Swan pub with a heavy police presence outside, including officers on horseback. A further 10 arrests were made throughout the day for offences including possession of offensive weapons, affray and possession of drugs, police said.
Counter-protesters had earlier clashed with police near the Cenotaph, ahead of a service to mark Armistice Day. Scuffles broke out as police attempted to stop a crowd of people carrying St George’s flags marching along Embankment towards Whitehall, where the Cenotaph is located, shortly after 10am.
The group, which had been chanting “England ’til I die”, pushed through the police barrier, with some shouting “let’s have them” as officers hit out with batons. Further clashes took place in Chinatown, with counter-protesters chanting, “You’re not English any more” towards officers.
Police managed to disperse the crowd, splitting them into two smaller groups which were seen running in the direction of Piccadilly Circus. A group of about 100 people were later held near Westminster Bridge under police powers to prevent a disturbance.
The traditional Armistice Day service took place at the Cenotaph on Whitehall at 11am, which passed off peacefully with a two-minute silence being observed. The Met Police posted on X, formerly Twitter: “While the two minutes’ silence was marked respectfully and without incident on Whitehall, officers have faced aggression from counter-protesters who are in the area in significant numbers.”
The force added: “Officers have prevented those not involved in getting on to Whitehall so it can take place without disruption, as we committed. They have faced unacceptable violence, including people throwing missiles and a metal barrier. Anyone genuinely wishing to observe the event could do so from behind barriers on the pavement which is open along one entire side of Whitehall. Officers’ efforts are on keeping the road itself clear around the Cenotaph.”
Tommy Robinson, founder and former leader of the far-right English Defence League, was seen among the crowds of counter-protesters. Meanwhile, thousands of people began marching from Park Lane near Hyde Park shortly before 1pm as part of the pro-Palestinian demonstration.
Hundreds gathered around the Wellington Arch as the pro-Palestine march filed past and there was a heavy police presence in the area.