London Liverpool Street station locked down after hundreds of pro-Palestine activists stage huge sit-in protest

31 October 2023, 23:29

London Liverpool Street station saw a huge sit-in this evening
London Liverpool Street station saw a huge sit-in this evening. Picture: social media/X
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists staged a huge sit-in at Liverpool Street station in London in protest at the Israel-Hamas conflict.

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More than 500 people joined the protest at around 5.30pm on Tuesday to demand an immediate ceasefire to Israel's attacks on Gaza and an end to arms exports to Israel.

Palestinian music and chants such as "ceasefire now" could be heard from the crowds at the sit-in, which was organised by direct action group Sisters Uncut.

Members from other activist groups including the Palestinian Youth Movement and International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network also spoke at the demonstration.

The British Transport Police said later on Tuesday: "Our officers dealt with a protest earlier this evening at Liverpool Street station. The station is back to normal operations.

"Anyone wishing to make a report related to the protest at Liverpool Street can text 61016 or call 0800 40 50 40 with reference 324 of 31 October 2023."

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BTP assistant chief constable Sean O'Callaghan said: "BTP became aware earlier in the day that a protest may occur in the station and ensured sufficient officers were at the station to respond to any incidents.

"Despite some claims being made in social media, no time was Liverpool Street Station locked down or services disrupted.

"BTP officers worked with railway colleagues to ensure the safety of all concerned and allowed passengers to continue to travel as normal on the trains."

The protest came after more than 200 people staged another sit-in on the concourse at London Waterloo station on Saturday.

It comes amid growing calls for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, including in the UK as well as the wider international community.

But both the Government and the Labour Party have rejected calls for a permanent ceasefire, instead backing calls for more temporary 'humanitarian pauses'.

Defending his position today, Sir Keir Starmer argued that Hamas would be "emboldened" by a ceasefire and start preparing for future violence immediately.

Sir Keir said: "While I understand calls for a ceasefire at this stage, I do not believe that it is the correct position now for two reasons.