LONDON - Thousands of pro-Palestine protesters have taken to the streets of London as part of a global day for action involving 30 countries.
Hundreds of police officers are on duty in the capital on Saturday, with protesters warned that they face arrest if they “intentionally push the limit” on placards and slogans.
Demonstrators have converged on Queen Victoria Street before making their way along Fleet Street.
Speaking at Parliament Square, Husam Zomlot, the Palestinian ambassador to the UK, accused the British Government of “complicity” with Israel.
Mr Zomlot told the protesters Palestine was a “nation of freedom fighters”, saying: “I stand before you with a broken heart but not a broken spirit.”
He congratulated South Africa for bringing a genocide case against Israel at the UN’s International Court of Justice.
The protest comes after the UK and the USA carried out airstrikes against Houthi bases in Yemen.
The Iran-backed rebel group has repeatedly targeted commercial shipping in the Red Sea in the wake of Israel’s war against Hamas following the October 7 attack.
A “significant policing presence” will be seen this weekend with about 1,700 officers on duty to police the march on Saturday, including many from forces outside London, the Metropolitan Police said.
A number of conditions are in place, the force said, including: Any person participating in the procession must not deviate from the route specified; the speeches at the assembly following the procession must end by 4.30pm and the whole event must end by 5pm; no participant in the protest may enter the area around the Israeli Embassy.
Home Secretary James Cleverly said he had been briefed by the Met’s commissioner Sir Mark Rowley on plans to “ensure order and safety” during the protest.
“I back them to use their powers to manage the protest and crack down on any criminality,” the MP said.
The seventh National March for Palestine also features an appearance by Little Amal, a giant puppet of a Syrian child refugee, which will join a group of Palestinian children.
The 3.5m puppet became an international symbol of human rights after she journeyed 8,000km from the Turkish-Syrian border to Manchester in July 2021.
Protesters will head to Parliament Square, via Fleet Street and Victoria Embankment, where speeches will take place.