Met Police prepare for fresh Palestine protest after 'Jewish no-go zones' claim

Protesters on the Embankment, London, during a pro-Palestine march, organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign  (PA Wire)
Protesters on the Embankment, London, during a pro-Palestine march, organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PA Wire)

The Met is preparing to deploy hundreds of officers for the latest pro Palestine rally in London this weekend.

Tens of thousands of protesters are expected to march from Hyde Park to the US embassy in Nine Elms on Saturday.

The protest comes after the government’s counter extremism tsar warned that the activists were turning London into a “no-go zone for Jews” each weekend.

Robin Simcox said a “permissive environment for radicalisation” had left the Jewish community fearing harassment.

Writing in the Telegraph he said: “We will not have become an authoritarian state if London is no longer permitted to be turned into a no-go zone for Jews every weekend.”

Hundreds of police officers are being deployed to deal with the latest pro Palestine protest in the capital.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign demonstration in central London will be the fifth major march of the year so far in connection with the crisis in the Middle East.

The Met said a “robust” policing plan is in place with officers drafted in from across the UK.

The pro Palestine marches have been held since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7 leading to a retaliatory campaign of bombing and invasion of the Gaza strip.

The cost of policing the protests in the capital has now topped £32m, Scotland Yard said on Friday.

Commander Karen Findlay, who will oversee policing across London on Saturday, said extra officers have been drafted in to deal with potential disorder.

She warned there would be “clear lines” as to what would be deemed acceptable behaviour by protesters.

She said: “To minimise the impact of the protest we have consistently used our full range of legal powers over the last five months to manage these protests, and we will be doing so again this weekend.

“We are clearly operating in a context where we understand our Jewish and Muslim communities continue to be highly concerned about anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim hate crime and their own sense of safety in London. We recognise the very real anxiety and fear of individuals who are worried about perceived or actual threats they are subject to.“Our role remains to police impartially, being robust in tackling hate crime and extremism, and ensuring protest is managed within the law. We have to police to the law as it is, not as others would wish it to be.“As is the case with all protest events, we have discussed expectations of participants with the main organisers and how stewarding can assist officers in the management of how individuals and groups conduct themselves.

“We have also provided information to people to clarify the clear lines in terms of what is acceptable and what is not during these protests in order to provide clarity on what constitutes the commission of criminal offences which we will understandably deal with decisively and swiftly.“Equally people right across the Met continue to meet with community representatives, visiting and being visible at local places of worship, to ensure we are providing support and reassurance across our communities.“This weekend we will once again be supported by colleagues from forces across the United Kingdom and I want to thank all police officers who will be working in London this weekend.”

There will be a series of other large scale events in the capital this weekend including a Million Women Rise demonstration in support of International Women’s Weekend.

There are also six football matches taking place from the top four divisions of English football and two FA Trophy quarter finals.

The Met said officers will deal with any football fans who risk the safety of others.

Two Wealdstone fans were recently slapped with three-year football banning orders after a pitch invasion in which they antagonised Barnet supporters which the Met used as an example of their tough approach.