Hundreds of thousands at pro-Palestinian demo on Armistice Day

Palestine Gaza Israel ceasefire

In what was two fingers up at British Home Secretary Suella Braverman, hundreds of thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators descended onto the streets of London on November 11 (Armistice Day), reports Sky News UK 

Suella Braverman, who has been tipped by many to be the next leader of the governing Conservative Party, has repeatedly dubbed pro-Palestinian rallies, “hate marches” and has pressured the police to ban this type of activism. 

She claimed that, “They are an assertion of primacy by certain groups – particularly Islamists – of the kind we are more used to seeing in Northern Ireland. Also disturbingly reminiscent of Ulster are the reports that some of Saturday’s [November 4] march group organisers have links to terrorist groups, including Hamas.” 

The police said that the recent march in the British capital attracted around 300,000 people whilst the event organisers said that 800,000 were present. 

Qatar-funded news outlet Middle East Eye noted that November 11’s march was the largest ever pro-Palestine rally in British history as the streets were draped in red, green and black. 

Braverman’s comments are an own goal as it has been argued that smearing these marches has only attracted more people to the cause. The protestors called for a ceasefire in Gaza, chanted pro-Palestinian slogans and called on the Prime Minister to “sack Suella”. 

READ: British Home Secretary toughens stance on pro-Palestinian activism

The recent march was met by far-right counter-protestors who went to London to “protect” the cenotaph, a war memorial that commemorates those who fought for the country during the First World War. 

This was despite the pro-Palestine event organisers saying that they would not being going through the cenotaph. 

The protestors in question went to the capital after anti-Islam activist Tommy Robinson called on his social media followers to voice their opposition to a pro-Palestine march taking place during Remembrance weekend.  

Robinson, who boasts about being a “proud Zionist”, is a prominent political activist in the UK and has in the past had close ties to Steve Bannon, who played a key role in Donald Trump’s Presidential election triumph in 2016. 

Scenes turned ugly as the small but angry mob became abusive, throwing bottles and drink cans at the police which in response,  officers hit out with batons. 

82 of those involved in the counter-protests were arrested. In contrast, the pro-Palestine rally was largely peaceful despite Braverman’s defamatory remarks. 

The Home Secretary was accused by many fellow MPs of emboldening the far-right. Following the scuffles in London, Apsana Begum, one of the speakers at the pro-Palestinian rally, of the opposition Labour Party wrote on X (formerly Twitter), “After fanning the flames of hate, not a word of condemnation from you [Suella Braverman] yet . Resign.” 

READ: British PM in Israel to plead for sobriety after Gaza hospital attack

Those in the occupied West Bank heaped praise on British nationals, notably in London, for their major demos over the past month in solidarity with the long-oppressed Palestinian people. 

Ibrahim Omran, the head of a local council in the village of Burin said, “I hope the people protesting against the war will influence the British government. They are a great solidarity for us,” 

Whilst Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has called for a humanitarian pause in the conflict between Gaza and Israel, he like many politicians in the West did not commit to backing a ceasefire, claiming it would only be beneficial to Palestinian militants Hamas. 

Regarding some of the unpleasant turn of events in London during Remembrance weekend, the British Prime Minister said in a statement, “ I condemn the violent, wholly unacceptable scenes we have seen today from the EDL [far-right, anti-Muslim activist group] and associated groups and Hamas sympathisers attending the National March for Palestine. The despicable actions of a minority of people undermine those who have chosen to express their views peacefully” 

Since October 7, over 11,000 Gazans and 1,400 Israelis have been slaughtered as tensions in the region continue to boil over. 

Sky News

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