Thousands of protesters are expected to take to the streets across the UK on Saturday for the fourth consecutive week of demonstrations over the Israel-Hamas war.
Before a pro-Palestine rally in London and other parts of the UK, the chief rabbi, Sir Ephraim Mirvis, said the lines between pro-Palestinian protesters and “those who support the brutal terrorism of Hamas” had become “badly blurred”.
A demonstration in support of Palestine was scheduled to take place at Trafalgar Square at approximately 2:30pm on Saturday, as participants advocated for a cessation of hostilities.
Events with similar plans were organized in various towns and cities throughout the UK, including Liverpool, Newcastle, and Bristol.
On Saturday, numerous demonstrators gathered outside the BBC’s London office to express their discontent with the broadcaster’s biased reporting on the Israel-Hamas conflict.
The police department for the city has announced that they will be placing more emphasis on utilizing social media and facial recognition technology in order to identify and address criminal activity during this weekend’s protests.
The police have also announced that gatherings of pro-Palestine demonstrators outside the Israeli embassy will not be allowed.
The police have enforced a restriction under Section 14 of the Public Order Act to prohibit protesters from assembling near the embassy in Kensington, located in west London.
In an article for the Times, Sir Ephraim Mirvis, the chief rabbi of the UK, stated that the distinction between pro-Palestinian demonstrators and those who endorse the violent tactics of Hamas has become increasingly unclear.
Mirvis drew attention to a demonstration in Manchester where a banner was displayed expressing support for “Palestinian resistance.” He stated that there was no doubt about the message conveyed by the words.
He stated: “Did every individual who participated in that protest genuinely want to be associated with such savage actions? I truly pray that they did not.”
However, it is evident that the distinction between those who solely advocate for the well-being of innocent Palestinians and those who back the violent terrorism of Hamas has become increasingly unclear.
In the following protests, the distinction between different groups has become unclear. Some individuals have openly expressed their radical beliefs through signs and chants, while others stand in solidarity with them.
Sir Mark Rowley, the Met commissioner, addressed worries expressed by Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman, the home secretary, regarding upcoming pro-Palestine demonstrations on Armistice Day.
Sunak expressed concern over the scheduled marches on November 11, stating that they could incite conflict and show disrespect. He also cautioned that the Cenotaph, a monument of remembrance, may be damaged by protestors.
The organizers and the Metropolitan Police have both stated that the demonstration will steer clear of Whitehall, where the war memorial is situated.
In a message addressed to Sunak, Rowley expressed the importance of Armistice Day and the accompanying events in central London and throughout communities in the city.
We will use a strong approach and I previously stated our plan to utilize all the authority given to the MPS. This may include implementing restrictions, if necessary, to maintain safety in Whitehall, nearby areas, and other important locations throughout London.
In his work about X, Braverman referred to the upcoming demonstrations as a “hate march” and expressed concerns about potential public disturbances, acts of aggression, and destruction.
The television host and ex-English soccer player Gary Lineker joined the dispute, supporting the scheduled demonstrations in response to the home secretary’s statement.
He stated that protesting and advocating for a ceasefire and peace to prevent the death of innocent children is not accurately described as a march of hate.