UK

#FreeGaza Protest At Birmingham Tesco Sees Arrest As Stock Is Hurled To The Ground

18/08/2014 10:29 BST | Updated 18/08/2014 10:59 BST

A man has been arrested during a Free Gaza protest in a Tesco store.

According to West Midlands Police up to 100 protesters took part in the "largely peaceful" event at a Birmingham store on Saturday, “but some began throwing stock”.

The demonstrators were protesting against the supermarket giant’s sale of Israeli goods.

tesco protest

Free Gaza protesters burst into a Birmingham branch of Tesco on Saturday and hurled goods to the ground

A Tesco spokesman said: “Like all major UK retailers, we sell some products that are sourced from Israel. We do this in line with the Government position on trade with Israel, and we mark all products clearly with the country of origin, so customers can make informed choices about what to buy.”

Scuffles broke out between the protesters and police, with witnesses taking to social media to report conflicting accounts.

@FoxyMahfuj tweeted images of the incident, asking: “Peaceful protest??!!... protesters somehow get into Tesco and wreak havoc.”

tesco protest

One man was arrested after scuffles broke out between police and protesters

Meanwhile the West Midlands Palestine Solidarity Campaign blamed the police, calling their actions “brutal” and “disproportionate.”

A spokesman for Tesco said: “The demonstration took place mainly outside the store. There was some minimal damage to a few goods inside - police were on the scene and the store reopened after being closed for just a few minutes."

A West Midlands Police spokesman said Naveed Zafar, 35, of Naseby Road, was arrested following the incident and will appear at Birmingham Magistrates Court on Monday.

The 35-year-old has been charged with two counts of assault, three counts of assaulting a police officer and one count of obstructing a police officer in the execution of their duty.

tesco protest

Police at the scene on Saturday evening