The latest protest came a day after Britain abstained from voting on a UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire that was vetoed by the US.
Tens of thousands of people have gathered in the United Kingdom’s capital for another weekend of protests, demanding an immediate end to Israel’s assault on Gaza and criticizing its government for not voting for a ceasefire in the besieged enclave.
Protesters marched from London’s Bank Junction to Parliament Square on Saturday, holding placards reading “ceasefire now,” “end genocide” and the popular Palestinian slogan “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
Many participants in the march criticized the United Kingdom for abstaining from a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, which the United States vetoed.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres triggered the vote by citing Article 99 of the U.N. Charter, a measure that hasn’t been used in decades, and said that “the people of Gaza are staring into the abyss.”
The article allows the Secretary-General to “bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which, in his opinion, may jeopardize the maintenance of international peace and security.”
The demonstrators marched in London on Saturday [Hollie Adams/Reuters]
The Israeli war on Gaza has so far resulted in the deaths of at least 17,700 Palestinians – more than 70 percent of them women and children.
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition and Friends of Al Aqsa were among the groups that took part in the rally in London, which organizers said was attended by 100,000 people.
London’s Metropolitan Police said an estimated 40,000 people were present, local media reported.
– PSC (@PSCupdates) December 9, 2023
The march took place without major incident and under strict police restrictions, including a restricted zone to prevent demonstrators from gathering around the Israeli embassy.
Police said in a statement to X that 13 protesters were arrested, mostly for displaying offensive posters. A woman was identified by the police’s specialist Voyager CCTV surveillance team and arrested for an alleged offense committed during an earlier protest.
A man holding a poster “Comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany” was also arrested on suspicion of a racially motivated public order offense, police said.
Protests and solidarity marches have been taking place in London and cities around the world since the Israeli-Palestinian conflict began two months ago.
Last month, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak fired Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who was angered after she accused police of being too lenient with pro-Palestinian protesters and described such demonstrations as “hate marches.”
Source : www.aljazeera.com