In Case You Missed It, Pro-Palestine Protest With Up To 10,000 People Stood Near Downing Street This Week

It comes as "all eyes on Rafah" becomes a major talking point on social media.
Thousands of people gather to hold pro-Palestinian demonstration and condemn Israeli attacks over Gaza at the entrance of Downing Street.
Thousands of people gather to hold pro-Palestinian demonstration and condemn Israeli attacks over Gaza at the entrance of Downing Street.
Anadolu via Getty Images

Up to 10,000 people took part in a pro-Palestine protest near Downing Street on Tuesday evening amid escalating violence in Gaza.

Demonstrators are calling for government action as the Israel-Hamas war continues to cause devastation in the Palestinian territory.

Israeli tanks moved into the city of Rafah this week, days after bombarding people staying in tents near the city and worsening the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

More than half of Gaza’s entire population had been sheltering in Rafah because Israel previously designated it a safe zone amid its eight-month offensive in the territory.

These events have caused outrage around the world.

Police estimate between 8,000 and 10,000 people attended the Westminster protest, organised by a coalition of groups including the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign.

The protesters want the government to stop supporting Israel and started a chant calling out Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer for not taking a firmer stance against the UK ally.

Jeremy Corbyn, former Labour leader who now stands as an independent MP, also made a speech at the protest.

He said anyone who wants to hold public office should be asked: “Are you going to be a voice to end the arms trade with Israel?

“Are you going to be a voice to stop the bombardment of Gaza?

“So that this massive movement that has come together, all over the country and all over Europe, all over the world in support of the Palestinian people, makes that difference, and makes that difference to be a voice for a different world – a world of peace.”

The protest began at 6pm and police called for it to end at 8pm using the Public Order Act.

But around 500 others remained and continued to protest after that time.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: “Officers engaged extensively before making a number of arrests for failing to comply with conditions.

“As they moved in, some in the crowd resisted physically, requiring officers to use force to extract those who had been arrested.”

A breakaway demonstration soon formed outside Westminster Tube station.

Officers had to enter the crowd before 10pm to arrest those suspected of leading the separate protest.

By 2am, all the protesters had left and the street had been reopened, according to police.

Three officers were injured when dealing with the breakaway march and 40 people were arrested overall for a range of offences such as breaking the Public Order Act, assaulting emergency workers and obstructing a highway.

Pro-Palestine protests have been taking place around the world ever since the war began in October.

The renewed intensity of the attacks of Rafah has sparked a new wave of demonstrations, with protesters in Paris and Italy’s Turin marching until late into the evening.

Student encampments across the US and the UK have made headlines, too, as people call for their universities to cut all Israeli ties.

Meanwhile, the phrase “all eyes on Rafah” continues to spread across social media.

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