'People who deviate will be arrested': Met issues warning ahead of pro-Palestine protests in London over weekend

13 October 2023, 22:37 | Updated: 14 October 2023, 10:12

A series of pro-Palestine protests are expected to take place in London on Saturday
A series of pro-Palestine protests are expected to take place in London on Saturday. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

People attending pro-Palestine protests on Saturday must stay in designated demonstration areas or face arrest, the Metropolitan Police has warned.

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A number of pro-Palestine protests are expected to go ahead, according to the Met, including 'March for Palestine', which will start outside of the BBC's Broadcasting House.

The Met has warned protesters that they must not deviate from a pre-determined route, which runs from Portland Street, Regent Street, Haymarket, and ending in Whitehall.

A spokesperson for the force said: "Any person participating in or associated with the 'Palestine Solidarity Campaign' protest must not deviate from the route below or they may be subject to arrest."

Another pro-Palestine protest is expected to go ahead in Kensington, west London, near where the Israeli embassy is located.

Protesters attending this demonstration must not enter in zones designated red by the force.

The Met has said it will deploy more than 1,000 officers on the streets to attend pro-Palestinian rallies held in the capital on Saturday, with thousands expected to travel into central London.

It comes amid rising tensions following Hamas' attack on Israel last weekend.

Read More: Palestine supporters set off fireworks outside Israeli embassy, as British Jews hold vigil for victims of Hamas attack

Read More: Israel and Palestine protesters pulled apart by police at London Underground station yards from Israeli embassy

In a statement on Friday, a spokesperson for the Met said: “We are expecting thousands of people to travel to central London tomorrow to make their voices heard in a March for Palestine.

“More than 1,000 officers will be on duty to police the march, in addition to officers across the capital, and will work alongside stewards and organisers.”

Protesters have also been warned that waving a Hamas flag, a designated terrorist organisation in the UK, will lead to an arrest.

“Our role as an independent and impartial service is to balance the right to lawful protest with potential disruption to Londoners," Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor, who is responsible for policing in London this weekend, said.

“People do not have the right to incite violence or hatred. The law is clear that support for proscribed organisations is illegal.

“Anyone with a flag in support of Hamas or any other proscribed terrorist organisation will be arrested.

“We will not tolerate the celebration of terrorism or death, or tolerate anyone inciting violence.”