Met Police 'looking into' video of activist telling pro-Palestine crowd in London 'massacres should become status quo'

14 January 2024, 12:35 | Updated: 14 January 2024, 15:26

The man was speaking at a pro-Palestine rally in London on Saturday
The man was speaking at a pro-Palestine rally in London on Saturday. Picture: social media
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

The Metropolitan Police has said it is 'looking into' a video of a man shared online telling a pro-Palestine crowd in London that "massacres should be normalised as the status quo".

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Hundreds of thousands of pro-Palestine protesters took to the streets in central London on Saturday to call for the war in Gaza to stop.

Thousands more are understood to have been attracted to this weekend's protest after the UK and US launched air strikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen in the last few days.

Speaking at an event in London seemingly led by Friends of Al-Aqsa (FOA), a pro-Palestine group, Mohammed El-Kurd said: "Our day will come, but we must not be complacent.

"Our day will come but we must normalise massacres as the status quo."

He then left the stage.

El-Kurd has since released a text from his speech, in which he says 'not normalise massacres as the status quo' - which was different to his delivery at the rally - and later says he 'misspoke'.

He did not initially deny using the phrase, however, writing on Twitter: "Lots of ppl reporting this speech to the police. Idgaf. Zionism is indefensible."

Read More: Nine arrested after pro-Palestine protest in London

Read More: Watch as woman 'drives into' Scottish pro-Palestine protesters - as thousands march for Gaza across UK

The Met Police have confirmed they are "aware of the remarks" and "assessing the matter".

A spokesperson said: "A video of remarks made by one of the speakers at yesterday’s protest in central London has been shared extensively online.

"Officers are aware of the remarks, the commentary surrounding them and the subsequent statements issued by the speaker.

"They are assessing the matter and as part of that assessment will be seeking to speak to the individual concerned. We will provide a further update in due course."

Thousands gather for march against war in Gaza
Thousands gather for march against war in Gaza. Picture: Getty

Saturday's protest was largely peaceful, though nine people were arrested by the Met Police.

Three people were arrested on suspicion of showing support for a proscribed organisation, which is an offence under the Terrorism Act, by distributing leaflets.

Three more were arrested for inciting racial hatred - one related to a placard, whilst the other two relating to chanting.Two more arrests were for racially aggravated public order offences.

The ninth arrest was made for the possession of stickers to be used for criminal damage.