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Pro-Palestine protesters ‘wave Zionists control the media’ placards during London march

The protest was originally intended to head for Trafalgar Square but police refused permission Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Chants heard praising Yemen and anti-Semitic posters on display as 300,000 predicted to head to Whitehall Pro-Palestine protesters waved placards alleging that “Zionists control the media”, as thousands gathered in central London to demand a ceasefire in Gaza.

Demonstrators also chanted: “Yemen, Yemen make us proud, turn another ship around,” a reference to the Houthi attacks on shipping in the Red Sea.

Multiple banners displaying anti-Semitic tropes were displayed at the march, which began outside BBC headquarters in Portland Place and was due to finish in Whitehall.

One declared “the BBC is an arm of the Zionist propaganda machine”, while another stated “Our media, TV, radio and government are controlled by Zionists”. Another protester waved a placard depicting Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, as a pig with devil hornsThe demonstration, the eighth such national march since the Oct 7 Hamas massacre, has put the Metropolitan Police under renewed scrutiny over its handling of such events, having previously been criticized by politicians and Jewish representatives for showing a lax approach to policing hate speech.

Organized by a coalition including the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al Aqsa, Stop the War Coalition and the Muslim Association of Britain, organizers said they expected 300,000 people to attend Saturday’s march. It follows a spat with police in which organizers say they were initially prevented from concluding their march outside Whitehall.

The Met eventually yielded, but they withheld permission for a second stage of the march in Trafalgar Square. Organizers have said that the decision presented a risk to safety.

However, Deputy Assistant Commissioner David Ward said on Thursday that allowing the Trafalgar Square leg “would have caused serious disruption”.

“To avoid Trafalgar Square becoming too full, we have agreed to just one stage for speakers in Whitehall,” he said.

Ahead of the march, the Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Tomorrow, London will once again become a no-go zone for Jews as yet another anti-Israel demonstration takes place. “How much more must this country endure before proper action is taken.”

Police have made arrests at previous marches, including at an event in London in December when they were surrounded by protesters.

Earlier that month, 13 were arrested at a march, mostly for offensive placards. Leaflets distributed at Saturday’s march included the headline: “Zionist Holocaust backed by the West, aping Hitler.”

Another said: “Gaza Holocaust Creates a Historic Crisis of Zionist Racist Hegemony.”

By The Telegraph

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