Impromptu demonstration supporting Palestine obstructs bridge near UK Parliament.

Outside the British parliament in London on Saturday, demonstrators supporting the Palestinian cause obstructed roads, urging an immediate ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict. They clashed with the police, who prevented them from marching across Westminster Bridge.

On Saturday afternoon, a coalition of organizations in London protested for a Gaza ceasefire and to “END the Israeli Occupation.” The protest groups declined to disclose their planned protest routes to the Metropolitan Police, as reported by the Metropolitan Police on X.

It remains uncertain whether the police were notified about the protests in advance. The police website emphasizes that, as per the law, organizers of protests are required to provide six days’ notice to the police before the event. This notice should include details such as the date, time, route, and the names and addresses of the organizers.

Securing Anonymity

Black Lives Matter offered participants advice on X, sharing insights on how to “ensure personal and collective safety from surveillance.” The recommendations involved concealing identities through the use of masks, adaptable clothing, and obscuring distinctive features.

In the same X announcement, BLM accused both the police and far-right factions of singling out protesters and leveraging captured protest footage for intelligence purposes.

In previous pro-Palestinian gatherings in London, several arrests took place following the identification of individuals photographed with antisemitic signs.

BLM and Sisters Uncut revealed that the protests would kick off in St James’ Park, initially providing only a countdown to the unveiling of the protest location.

In common with other Western cities, London has witnessed frequent, and at times sizable, demonstrations urging Israel to cease the bombardment of Gaza, which was sparked by an unexpected attack by Hamas terrorists on October 7 that resulted in the deaths of over 1,200 people.

Social media videos depicted police preventing protesters from accessing the bridge, with reports of several minor altercations from a Reuters reporter. As protesters couldn’t fully reach the bridge to display banners as planned, they occupied nearby roads.

According to the police, a legal order was enforced to restrict the protest location, and by 3 p.m. (1500 GMT), individuals had started dispersing. Police warned that those who refused to comply with the order to leave could face arrest.

Gary Mond, Chairman of the National Jewish Assembly, shared with the Jerusalem Post his perspective that the protest marches happening today represent a disturbing downturn in anti-Israel demonstrations. He pointed out, “To begin with, it is distressing that the organizers failed to collaborate effectively with the police. This conduct warrants investigation, and measures should be considered against the involved organizations if feasible. Additionally, the support for ‘pro-Palestinian’ marchers from other left-wing protest groups like Black Lives Matter and Sisters Uncut exposes the inherently antisemitic nature of these latter entities as well.”

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