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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Amy Sedghi

London police investigate videos of potential hate crimes at rallies

Woman carrying antisemitic placard
The Metropolitan police are seeking the public’s help identifying this woman. Photograph: Twitter/X

Police are looking for people seen in pictures and videos featuring antisemitic and Islamophobic language and symbols after Saturday’s pro-Palestinian and far-right marches in London.

Both the Metropolitan police and British Transport Police (BTP) released images on Sunday of individuals they hoped to identify.

The BTP appealed for members of the public to help them identify four men they would like to speak to in relation to a “racially aggravated altercation” at Waterloo station.

A video shows one man calling a supporter of the march a “terrorist” and another shouting: “We were fucking born in this country.”

In another image, shared by the Met, a woman is seen holding a placard featuring the Jewish Star of David intertwined with a swastika above the slogan “No British politician should be a ‘friend of Israel’”.

Police are also looking for two men pictured during the pro-Palestine march wearing keffiyeh headscarves as masks and green headbands that allegedly feature Hamas slogans.

BTP shared a picture of a man after a racially aggravated altercation at Folkestone station on Saturday. Another image issued showed a young woman, whom the BTP are seeking following an antisemitic hate crime at Victoria station on Saturday. Video footage published on X, formerly Twitter, appears to show the woman shouting: “Death to all the Jews.”

Ben Jamal, director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), which coordinated Saturday’s march, accepted that some placards were antisemitic, but hailed the protest as “overwhelmingly peaceful” and blamed “pro-Israel actors” for deliberately seeking out examples of antisemitism.

Jamal said: “The message being delivered by these pro-Israel actors is that these isolated incidents prove that the march was pro-Hamas or an unsafe space for Jews.”

Jamal said he had counted 10 examples on social media among the 800,000 people he claims were marching. “Some of the placards shown and incidents captured are antisemitic,” he said. “The organisers, including PSC, would dissociate ourselves entirely from them. But we reject absolutely the attempt to suggest that they are indicative of our views or the vast majority of those marching.”

On Sunday the Met said Saturday’s protests had led to 145 arrests and that seven people had been charged with a variety of offences, including assault, possession of weapons, criminal damage, public order, inciting racial hatred and drug possession.

Police sources have told the Guardian they were linking attacks on officers by far-right counter-protesters on Saturday to statements made by the home secretary, Suella Braverman.

In a statement on Saturday night, the Met’s assistant commissioner, Matt Twist, 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 rightwing protesters towards the police today was extraordinary and deeply concerning.”

  • The police have asked any members of the public who can identify the woman bearing the antisemitic placard shown in this article to call 101, giving reference 1235186/23. Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111

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