Protesters planned to march from Central Hyde Park to the US Embassy at noon, demanding an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. About 2,000 police officers are on duty. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called on protesters to behave peacefully and respect Britain’s World War II commemoration on Armistice Day. On the anniversary of the Armistice in the First World War in 1918, politicians and the royal family traditionally commemorate those killed in the war at the Cenotaph war memorial in the city centre.
Several Conservative politicians had called on London police to ban the pro-Palestine rally so as not to overshadow the commemorations. But the authority rejected it citing law. The calls to voluntarily abandon the rally fell silent.
Interior Minister Suella Braverman then criticized the police for ignoring crimes committed by leftist and pro-Palestinian protesters. The comments drew sharp criticism even within his Conservative Party and calls for Prime Minister Sunak to fire the minister.
Thousands of people had already expressed their solidarity with Gaza at rallies in London last weekend. There were separate cases of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel crimes.