Two arrested at pro-Palestine march including man holding ‘swastika placard’

Two men have been arrested at a pro-Palestine march, one for holding a placard with a swastika on it and another for an alleged racist remark towards counter-protesters, police said.

Thousands gathered for the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) demonstration in London on Saturday afternoon to call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

There was also a static demonstration organised by pro-Israel group Enough is Enough which took place at the same time along the route of the pro-Palestine march.

At just before 1pm, Scotland Yard said officers arrested a man holding a placard with a swastika on it at Parliament Square, where the PSC march set off from.

Former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was among those holding banners at the front of the pro-Palestine protest.

Chants of “Stop bombing Gaza, stop bombing children” were sung by the crowds and placards saying “Free Palestine, smash the racists” were displayed.

Speaking on stage at Hyde Park, Palestinian ambassador to the UK Husam Zomlot said: “Change will come, campus by campus, city by city, country by country.

“The tide is turning because this is a global movement for change, a global assertion of popular power, of people’s power.”

Protesters could be heard chanting “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”.

The PSC march was the 13th national protest since the first was staged on October 9.

The Met said these kinds of protests had cost around £38.4 million and required 44,722 officer shifts as well as 6,399 officer rest days to be cancelled.

Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist said the force aimed to police “without fear or favour”, adding that protests in London had “been a particular cause of fear and uncertainty in Jewish communities”.

He said the events had caused some Jewish people to stay away from central London on protest days, avoid the Tube, hide their identities or otherwise change their behaviour.

A third demonstration organised by the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) was due to take place on Saturday from 12pm until 2pm but was cancelled the day before.

The organisation said it cancelled the “walk together” event – expected to attract thousands of people – after receiving threats and identifying “hostile actors” who posed a risk to the safety of Jews.

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