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UK police clash with pro-Palestinian protesters during London march

UK police have clashed with protesters during a fresh Free Palestine demonstration in London, as the British government continues to silence the pro-Palestinian voices across the country.

The Metropolitan Police officers attempting to break up the Saturday march clashed with the protesters at the march. It is unclear whether there were any arrests or casualties.

During the rally, protesters waved Palestinian flags and showed placards reading, “No votes for genocide supporters”, condemning the Israeli regime’s genocidal war in Gaza.

One placard read, “I have no problem calling Israel a Nazi state committing acts of genocide …”

The protesters also wore face masks of UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Joe Biden, the US president, while holding up both their hands which were covered in red paint, sending the message that the two leaders had blood on their hands.

Demonstrators chanted slogans at the police officers, saying, “shame on you” and “who do you serve, who do you protect?”

One demonstrator was chanting, “Yemen, Yemen make us proud. How many ships have you turned around?”

MET officers created a cordon, attempting to prevent the demonstrators from crossing the Westminster Bridge over the River Thames. Tourists fearing to be arrested by police were restricted in the mayhem.

Following skirmishes with MET police, pro-Palestine demonstrators staged a sit-in, blocking the Westminster Bridge. The protesters’ “mass die-in” prevented traffic from crossing the bridge near the Palace of Westminster.

Earlier, the protesters had gathered at a fountain in nearby St James’s Park to assemble for the latest demonstration in the capital.

MET police vans filled with officers were parked next to the fountain on Birdcage Walk, with other vehicles and officers on horseback also patrolling the road.

Scuffles with police started when MET officers appeared to advance on the protest leader, an NHS doctor, after she gave a speech using a loudspeaker.

The protesters then marched towards Parliament Square and onto Westminster Bridge before police set up a cordon blocking further protesters from crossing.

Weekly marches organized by the Free Palestine Coalition (FPC), are held in London and other cities and towns across the country to show solidarity with Palestinians trapped under Israeli fire in the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7.

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The FPC coalition — made up of several grassroots organizations in London, including Black Lives Matter UK, London for a Free Palestine, and the Palestinian Youth Movement — had the pro-Palestine supporters gather at the drinking fountain at St James’s Park at noon.

“The FPC has chosen this date, in advance of Parliament returning, to send a strong signal to the UK Government that Palestine is a political priority and that there can be no business as usual,” it said.

During the past months, the Israeli war machine killed over 22,700 Palestinians in its attacks, cutting off water, food, fuel, and electricity to the besieged Gaza Strip.

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