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London Palestine protests: Groups resist calls to cancel Armistice Day march

London’s Metropolitan Police joined calls by the British government to cancel Saturday’s march
Thousands gathered in central London to demand a ceasefire in Gaza as the death toll grows (Reuters)
Thousands gathered in central London to demand a ceasefire in Gaza as the death toll grows (Reuters)

Pro-Palestine groups have vowed to continue marching for Gaza in central London on Saturday as the police join government calls to cancel a planned demonstration. 

For the last four weeks, tens of thousands of pro-Palestine protestors have flooded central London to join protests opposing Israel's bombing of Gaza. 

Organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al Aqsa, the Muslim Association of Britain and other groups, the protests have called for an urgent ceasefire and end to the bloodshed in Gaza. 

Saturday’s planned protest will take place at midday, an hour after a scheduled moment of silence on Armistice Day, which marks the end of World War One.

The march will meet in Hyde Park and end outside the US embassy, avoiding Whitehall, where Remembrance Day events will occur the day after on Sunday. 

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But over the last week, senior politicians, including British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, have called on organisers to cancel Saturday’s protest, scheduled for Armistice Day. 

The Metropolitan Police, which has mobilised hundreds of officers to manage the marches each week, also joined government calls for groups to postpone the protests

Using X, formerly known as Twitter, the Met has been posting replies to tweets by organisers promoting the march, calling on the groups to “consider postponing any demonstrations in London on Armistice weekend”. 

Late on Monday, organisers said they would be resisting calls to cancel the protest after the Palestine health ministry said Israel had killed at least 10,000 Palestinians in Gaza.

"Those mounting pressure are the same voices actively resisting the call for a ceasefire despite overwhelming public support for that call," the statement read. 

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“The idea that it is acceptable for Israel to keep bombing and killing Palestinians in Gaza, including over 4,000 children, but not for people to protest peacefully against these crimes is grotesque.”

The statement noted that organisers had met with the police, who acknowledged that protests had taken place peacefully with low arrest levels. 

“They asked us to consider not marching this Saturday and postponing for a week because of the sensitivity of this weekend,” the statement said.

“It is categorically not true that the police told us that it was not appropriate to protest this weekend. 

“They raised a concern about the possibility of breakaway groups leaving the march but were not able to provide any evidence as to why this risk would be increased on Saturday 11th November.” 

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