Police make arrest over pro-intifada chant at Palestine march

Demonstrators on the pro-Palestine march (Getty Images)
Demonstrators on the pro-Palestine march (Getty Images)

A man has been arrested after reports of chants calling for “Intifada revolution” on a pro-Palestinian march in central London.

Other arrests made on the day include a man arrested carrying a coffin with “offensive langauge” on it and a man arrested on a counter-protest for “holding an offensive placard”.

Two arrests were also made for affray and another man was arrested for assaulting a police officer - bringing the total number of arrests in and around the demo to seven.

Chief Superintendent Colin Wingrove, who is leading this weekend’s policing operation, said: “We have worked with organisers of today's events to ensure people could protest safely whilst at the same time minimising serious disruption to the community.

“Officers made swift interventions to make arrests where criminal offences were suspected.”

The organisers of the march, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign said “thousands” of people joined the march to “demand our government end its support for Israel’s genocide against the Palestinian people”.

A Met Police spokesman responded to video shared on-line featuring the chant.

They said: “We’re aware of a man appearing to lead a chant during a demonstration and shortly afterwards climbing a traffic light on Regent’s Street W1.

“Officers quickly located and arrested the man on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence and suspected criminal damage.”

It comes after the Met have come under fire for some of the policing at previous pro-Palestinian marches.

Last month, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner had to defend how officers handled a campaigner against antisemitism at a pro-Palestinian demonstration, describing their actions as “professional”.

Sir Mark Rowley admitted some of the words exchanged during the incident on April 13 were “clumsy and offensive”, but confirmed the officers involved would not be sanctioned.

Gideon Falter, chief executive of the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), was threatened with arrest for breaching the peace by the officers policing the protest in central London, with one describing Mr Falter, who was wearing a kippah, as “openly Jewish”.

Police between pro-Israel and pro-Palestine supporters in London (Getty Images)
Police between pro-Israel and pro-Palestine supporters in London (Getty Images)

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak earlier said the force needed to rebuild the trust of the Jewish community, while Sir Mark faced calls to resign from Mr Falter and former home secretary Suella Braverman.Representatives of Jewish community groups including the Community Security Trust and London Jewish Forum have met with Sir Mark and Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist who leads public order policing.