As the hundreds of thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters gathered from the US embassy, back across Vauxhall Bridge and all the way to Buckingham Palace just after 3pm on Saturday, a hush fell.
Husam Zumlot, the Palestinian ambassador to the UK, told those gathered that the march was “a reminder that it is only once the guns fall silent that peace can be achieved”.
“Today we remember those who lost their lives in war and we remember those who are still falling today,” he said.
And then the protesters fell into a two-minute silence.
It was designed to answer one of the protesters’ harshest critics, someone who had done their utmost to try to make sure the demonstration didn’t happen.
It was designed as a response to a home secretary who defined the now weekly Saturday protests against the violence in Gaza as “hate marches”.
But as Ben Jamal, the organiser of the demonstration, told The Independent: “We know who the hateful people are. We know who Suella Braverman is.”
At midday, the marchers congregated outside the Hilton hotel at the bottom of Park Lane, setting off through a cloud of red, white and green flare smoke – the colours of the Palestinian flag.
Young children dressed in those same colours lined the streets through which the demonstrators marched. Many walked hand in hand with their parents alongside fellow protesters, while some led chants.
Four young boys perched on a ledge were photographed as they held signs that read, “End Israeli Occupation”.
On the fringes of the demonstrations near Hyde Park Corner, a little girl began to sing from her pram: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
The demonstrators were led by a ring of volunteers down Grosvenor Place, past the Irish embassy to their right and Buckingham Palace to their left.
A group of Jewish Socialists in their hundreds joined the march from a side road off Grosvenor Place.
When the marchers moved towards Victoria station, a small group of nine Orthodox Jews, including a young boy, had gathered to cheer them on.
They chanted “Judaism is OK, Zionism no way” before a round of applause erupted from the crowds.
One of the supporters, who asked not to be named, told The Independent that he believed “simply, the killing must stop”.
Concern about the appearance of counterprotest far-right mobs had underscored the marches in the run-up to Armistice Day and in the hours preceding the midday start.
Far-right leader Tommy Robinson had led a small riot through Chinatown earlier on Saturday after the 11am Armistice Day silence. Dozens of nationalist men had also clashed with police in Westminster.
Mustafa al-Dabbagh, the spokesperson of the Muslim Association of Britain, said there was “quite a lot of fear among some Muslim communities” going into Saturday’s march.
“The home secretary needs to take a good look at herself and focus on governing the streets instead of inflaming tensions using Islamophobic tactics to embolden the far right,” he said.
As the marchers turned the corner into Victoria station at around 1.15pm, the first pockets of far-right nationalists clashed with pro-Palestinian protesters.
A group of a dozen or so men standing outside the Duke of York pub began screaming at the marchers.
Police quickly surrounded them and some of the demonstrators followed behind, jeering while volunteers urged them to rejoin the march and refrain from engaging the far-right mob.
The men, meanwhile, many of whom clutched half-drunk pints, appeared visibly upset by what they believed was the betrayal of the police.
“Why are you blocking us?” one man shouted at an officer. “You should be blocking them.”
A second group then sprung out halfway along Vauxhall Bridge road.
There was palpable panic as roughly 20 men squared up to a few of those walking ahead of the march. People shouted for help from the police, who were still controlling the front row of marchers further behind.
Several police officers ran forward and the march was suddenly halted only metres shy of the side road where the far-right group had appeared.
There was then a noticeable shift as dozens more officers ran further ahead to Vauxhall Bridge, where eight police vans were blocking further nationalists outside another pub.
At the time of writing, 82 far-right protesters had been arrested, according to the Metropolitan Police.
Officers arrested dozens of counterprotesters in Tachbrook Street, Pimlico, “to prevent a breach of the peace”.
Further down Vauxhall Bridge Road, one elderly demonstrator who asked not to be named was heard calming tensions with a third group of nationalists.
He told The Independent: “I was just trying to have a bit of banter with them to calm things down.
“I support West Ham, they support Chelsea. We joked about that – and we talked about the importance of Armistice Day.”
What had been made clear from the outset was that Armistice Day was one of importance to the many hundreds of thousands of pro-Palestinian marchers.
“Remembrance and the pro-Palestinian marches go hand in hand,” Mr al-Dabbagh said. “It is absolutely disingenuous to suggest otherwise.
“We are calling for an armistice on Armistice Day. If people don’t understand that, it’s very disappointing.”
At 11am in Marble Arch, a lone man wearing a Palestinian scarf, as well as a red poppy on his lapel, stood in silence – others appeared uninterested.
But when the speakers took to the stage outside the US embassy later on Saturday, the demonstrators staged a two-minute remembrance of their own and everyone paid attention.
What had been a march characterised by impassioned, oftentimes deafening chanting, suddenly fell into total silence just after 3pm.
Hundreds of thousands of people, stretching more than a mile and a half from near Battersea Park all the way back to Vauxhall station, were quiet.
Pictures of civilians killed in the last five weeks in Gaza swept across the screens as people silently wiped away tears. Then a round of muted applause broke out.