Pro-Palestine demonstrations in the UK continued into their eighth successive weekend on Saturday, as protesters gathered in cities and towns across the country to demand a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.
The protests were part of a day of smaller, local actions organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), an alternative to the larger marches seen in previous weeks. Last Saturday, hundreds of thousands of people marched through central London in protest at the Israeli bombing of Gaza.
Saturday’s protests were more diffuse as rallies and vigils were held in Manchester, Hull, Exeter, Bristol, Glasgow, Canterbury, Leeds, Sheffield, Cambridge and across most London boroughs.
One man was arrested in Brixton for a racially aggravated public order offence because of a placard he was carrying, the Metropolitan police said. In a post on X, officers said they were initially blocked from taking him to a station by protesters sitting in the road before they were removed by police.
The Met said a second arrest was of a “teenage male on suspicion of criminal damage of a police vehicle”. “Again, a number of people tried to obstruct the police van as it drove off. They were moved out of the way by officers,” the Met said. “The male is now in custody.”
Israel has resumed its military offensive in Gaza after a week-long truce that allowed hostages being held in the Hamas-controlled territory to be released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners in Israel.
The invasion of Gaza has resulted in more than 15,000 Palestinians being killed, according to Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry. The invasion followed Hamas attacks on 7 October in Israel that killed 1,200 people and resulted in more than 240 being taken hostage.
Pro-Palestinian demonstrations have drawn hundreds of thousands on to British streets over the last two months in some of the biggest protests seen since the anti-war mobilisations prior to the Iraq war in 2003. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign estimated more than 800,000 protesters attended the march on 11 November, with the police calculating there was a crowd of 300,000.
A national march is planned for next Saturday at midday in London, organised by a coalition of groups including PSC, Friends of Al-Aqsa, the Stop the War Coalition, Muslim Association of Britain, Palestinian Forum in Britain and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.