Thousands march through London calling for ceasefire in Gaza on Nakba anniversary

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of London on Saturday, calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The protest, organised by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (PSC), marked the 76th anniversary of the ‘Nakba’ – the mass displacement and persecution of Palestinians after the creation of Israel in 1948.

Demonstrators carrying placards which read “ceasefire now”, “the Nakba never ended” and “free Rafah“, made their way from Regent Street to Whitehall, where they gathered for speeches.

At the same time, a counter-demonstration by pro-Israel group Enough is Enough gathered in Piccadilly Circus.

The Met said seven arrests were made during the PSC event for offences including offensive placards and chants, violence and sexual assault. 

A 22-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence and criminal damage, a 68-year-old man was arrested in Langland Place, on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence, a 61-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault in Shaftsbury Avenue, and a 22-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer in Horseguards Avenue.

Two men were arrested on suspicion of affray.

A 69-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault outside Piccadilly Circus Tube station.

At the counter-demonstration, police said a 74-year-old man was arrested on “suspicion of a provocation of violence” in Great Windmill Street.

Chief Superintendent Colin Wingrove, leading the 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 pro-Palestinian march was the 14th event held in London since the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7.

Gaza’s Ministry of Health said at least 35,000 people have been killed and 78,641 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7.

The revised death toll in Israel from Hamas’s October 7 attacks stands at 1,139, with dozens of people still held captive.

Pictured top: Protesters march through London on Saturday holding banners and placards in support of Palestine (Picture: PA)

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