London, The Gulf Observer: Huge crowds marched through the British capital, as protesters made their latest mass call for a ceasefire in Gaza, with police out in force to prevent clashes with counter-protesters.
The “National March for Palestine”, organised by the Stop the War Coalition, set off after a two-minutes’ silence to remember Britain’s war dead on Armistice Day was observed at The Cenotaph war memorial in central London at 1100 GMT on Saturday.
Huge crowds of protesters waved black, red, white and green Palestinian flags and held aloft placards proclaiming “Stop Bombing Gaza”, just over a month since Israel began its bombardment on the besieged enclave following an attack into Israel launched by Palestinian group Hamas.
Israel’s air and ground attacks in Gaza have left over 11,000 Palestinians dead in five weeks, according to the Gaza-based health ministry in the coastal enclave.
As the march set off, protesters shouted “free Palestine” and “ceasefire now”.
London’s Metropolitan Police has made a total of nearly 100 arrests at previous marches in support of Gaza’s civilians.
Minor scuffles broke out during the demonstration as counter-protesters — many dressed in black with their faces covered, and some waving England’s St George’s flag and the Union Jack — tried to break through police lines.
Missiles were later thrown at officers in the nearby Chinatown area, the Met said on X (formerly Twitter).
Taylor has said counter-protesters were likely to include groups of football hooligans, and police were “likely” to have to use force at some point against “pockets of confrontation”.
British media reported that Tommy Robinson, the leader of the far-right English Defence League, was among the counter-protesters.