NATIONAL NEWS

300,000 join pro-Palestinian rally in London as scores of counter-protesters arrested

Nov 11, 2023, 11:35 AM

Attendees pay their respects at the Cenotaph ahead of a pro-Palestinian rally. (Carlos Jasso/Bloomb...

Attendees pay their respects at the Cenotaph ahead of a pro-Palestinian rally. (Carlos Jasso/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

(Carlos Jasso/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

LONDON, UK (CNN) — Around 300,000 people turned out for a large pro-Palestinian rally in London on Saturday as police arrested scores of counter-protesters for attempting to confront the marchers.

There was heavy police presence in central London’s Hyde Park Corner as protesters chanted “free, free Palestine” and “ceasefire now.” They were also heard chanting “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!”

A spokesperson for London’s Metropolitan Police told CNN that an estimated total of 300,000 people attended the demonstration, which coincided with annual Armistice Day commemorations, Veterans Day in the US.

Police said they arrested 82 counter-protesters “to prevent a breach of the peace.” They said they had “faced aggression from counter-protesters.” who stormed the area “in significant numbers” as the rally was building up.

One pro-Palestinian protester told CNN she was “flabbergasted at the hypocrisy of those supporting Ukraine but not Palestine.”

“Some politicians may be on our side, but they are too afraid to speak out,” she added.

Another protester said the number of people who had turned out for the march was “inspiring.” “We need to speak out for the voiceless,” they added.

Far-right scuffle with police

The police had promised to use “all the powers and tactics available to us” to stop the counter-protesters confronting the pro-Palestinian march.

Earlier in the day, a CNN team on the ground heard shouts and observed a heavy police presence as a group of far-right protesters tried to storm the war memorial which had been placed in an exclusion zone for protection.

Far-right organizer Tommy Robinson led a small but noisy demonstration to try and reach the Cenotaph, a symbolic landmark which is located in Whitehall, the London district where the Prime Minister and government departments reside.

During the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the UK has traditionally observed a two-minute silence to commemorate the moment guns fell silent marking the end of World War I in 1918.

Video posted on the ground from the anti-racist group Hope Not Hate showed far-right protestors dressed in black pushing the police lines at various points around Whitehall.

The unrest follows a political row over the pro-Palestinian protests earlier this week when Britain’s Home Secretary Suella Braverman went off-script to accuse police of being too lenient on the demonstrators.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had initially attempted to stop the pro-Palestinian protest from going ahead.

While later accepting that the march would take place, Sunak stuck to his line that choosing to protest on this particular weekend is “not just disrespectful but offends our heartfelt gratitude to the memory of those who gave so much so that we may live in freedom and peace today.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the disorder seen at London’s Cenotaph on Saturday was a “direct result” of the words of Braverman.

“The scenes of disorder we witnessed by the far-right at the Cenotaph are a direct result of the Home Secretary’s words. The police’s job has been made much harder,” said Khan on social media, adding that London’s Metropolitan Police has his “full support to take action against anyone found spreading hate and breaking the law.”

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

Workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee are in the process of voting this week on...

Chris Isidore, CNN

Volkswagen workers are voting on whether to join the UAW. The results could be felt nationwide

The union vote at the Volkswagen plant will mean more than whether the 4,300 hourly workers in Chattanooga are members of the UAW or not. It could be the start of a revolution in the US auto industry, which has not seen a new automaker unionize in nearly 50 years.

6 hours ago

IN SPACE - In this handout provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Earth as ...

Associated Press

Earth Day: How a senator’s idea more than 50 years ago got people fighting for their planet

Millions of people around the world will pause on Monday, at least for a moment, to mark Earth Day. It's an annual event founded by people who hoped to stir activism to clean up and preserve a planet that is now home to some 8 billion humans and assorted trillions of other organisms.

7 hours ago

Texts shown during Chad Daybell's jury trial show he and Lori Daybell planned to be together in Haw...

Emily Ashcraft, KSL.com

Texts show Chad and Lori Daybell’s relationship days after her husband’s death

Jurors for Chad Daybell's trial heard testimony on Friday about Lori Daybell's texts from an FBI agent, along with the end of testimony from Lori Daybell's friend, Melanie Gibb.

9 hours ago

FILE - A doctor uses a hand-held Doppler probe on a pregnant woman to measure the heartbeat of the ...

Amanda Seitz, Associated Press

Emergency rooms refused to treat pregnant women, leaving one to miscarry in a lobby restroom

Complaints about pregnant women being turned away from emergency rooms spiked in the months after states began enacting strict abortion laws following the 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

10 hours ago

Bluey and two other cartoon dogs point...

Cheyanne Mumphrey, Associated Press

Not a toddler, not a parent, but still love ‘Bluey’? You’re not alone

A small blue dog named Bluey with an Australian accent has captured the hearts of people across the world.

10 hours ago

Crime scene tape. (Getty Images)...

Associated Press

Police to review security outside courthouse hosting Trump’s trial after man sets himself on fire

Police officials say they are reviewing whether to restrict access to a public park outside the courthouse where former President Donald Trump is on trial after a man set himself on fire there.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

300,000 join pro-Palestinian rally in London as scores of counter-protesters arrested