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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Anthony France

Police at ready as dozens of pro-Palestine protests to take place across UK this weekend

Police are on standby as more than 40 pro-Palestine protests are held across the UK this weekend, including a series of rallies in London.

Tens of thousands of people descended on the streets of the capital last Saturday to call for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

Israel on Friday resumed combat against Hamas militants after a seven-day ceasefire.

Rather than a large protest in London on Saturday, there will instead be a series of demonstrations in Camden, Newham, Redbridge, Enfield, Hackney, Hounslow, Islington, Lewisham, Southwark, Tottenham and Wimbledon. On Sunday, demonstrators will gather in Herne Hill.

Over the course of last Saturday’s march from Park Lane to Whitehall, 18 arrests were made for inciting racial hatred and distributing hateful material.

The Metropolitan Police handed out leaflets to provide “absolute clarity” on what will be deemed an offence after weeks of pressure for officers to come down harder on alleged displays of anti-Semitism. More than 400 arrests have been made in the last seven weeks of protest.

Meanwhile, other forces across Britain will also be tested as protesters will be hold vigils, run petitions, fundraise and march in cities including Leeds, Liverpool, Cambridge, Bristol and Coventry.

Commuter towns, including Guildford, Hitchin and Tunbridge Wells, are also among the areas where demonstrations will be held.

The crisis in Gaza was sparked when Hamas gunmen murdered 1,200 people and took 240 hostages in a rampage across southern Israel on October 7. More than 14,800 people have been killed including about 6,000 children in Israel’s war of reprisal, according to the Hamas-run authorities.

Ben Jamal, the director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, one of the organisers of the marches, said: “We are focused on that ceasefire. The reality of what we are dealing with in Palestine is not as it is often framed a situation of ‘conflict’ or competing nationalisms.

“It is effectively a situation of injustice and oppression and that the root cause of the current violence we’re seeing is Irael’s enduring military occupation and imposition upon all of the Palestinian people of a system of apartheid."

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