Police hunt 20 men involved in violent counter-protests on Armistice Day - as three other men are charged

21 November 2023, 20:36 | Updated: 21 November 2023, 20:39

Police are hunting 20 men involved in counter-protests as hundreds of thousands of people attended a pro-Palestinian demonstration in London on Armistice Day.
Police are hunting 20 men involved in counter-protests as hundreds of thousands of people attended a pro-Palestinian demonstration in London on Armistice Day. Picture: Met Police

By Christian Oliver

Police are hunting 20 men involved in violent counter-protests on Armistice Day - as three men are charged after a 'racially aggravated incident' at London Waterloo Station following the demonstrations.

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Several incidents of violent disorder occurred across the capital, the Metropolitan Police said, including around Whitehall.

Scotland Yard has released images of the men, who detectives are investigating for a range of alleged offences including inciting racial hatred, racially aggravated public order offences and assault on police officers.

Commander Kyle Gordon said: "Public order policing doesn't end when the event is over, and since remembrance weekend our teams have been working around the clock to identify those involved in any criminality that took place on the day.

"They've trawled through hundreds of hours of CCTV footage and are continuing to review evidence to help with inquiries.

"We need the public's help to track down these men, who we want to speak to in connection with a range of offences.

"As with any public order event, we know that people may have travelled from outside of London, so we're asking for people across the country to take a look at those pictured and get in touch if they recognise anyone."

The Met said it made 145 arrests on the day for offences for possession of weapons, criminal damage, public order, inciting racial hatred and possession of drugs.

Police officers remove pro-Palestinian protesters that took part in a sit-in demonstration at London's Waterloo Station calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. Picture date: Saturday November 18, 2023.
Police officers remove pro-Palestinian protesters that took part in a sit-in demonstration at London's Waterloo Station calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. Picture date: Saturday November 18, 2023. Picture: Alamy
Hundreds of thousands of protesters have come together on Armistice Day to call for an immediate ceasefire in the Middle East
Hundreds of thousands of protesters have come together on Armistice Day to call for an immediate ceasefire in the Middle East. Picture: Alamy

Read More: 'Palestine protests at MPs' offices are intimidation' says Labour's Rachel Reeves after march on Keir Starmer's HQ

Read More: Palestine supporters arrested at Waterloo 'sit in' amid dozens of marches, as demonstrators also target Starmer's office

It comes as three men were charged after a racially aggravated incident at London Waterloo Station on the same evening.

Pro-Palestinian protesters staged a sit-in at Waterloo Station towards the end of the march, where the racially aggravated incident occurred at around 5.30pm after the demonstration was dispersed.

James Thomas, 33 of Christchurch, Ian Beim, 57, of Surbiton, and Kevin Sweeney, 61, of West Molesey, were all charged with racially aggravated public order offences.

All three men were granted bail ahead of their court appearances in December.

Thomas will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on December 13 while Beim and Sweeney will attend the same court the following week on December 18.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed more than 100 arrests were made on November 11.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak condemned "wholly unacceptable" actions by both far-right groups and "Hamas sympathisers" on Armistice Day, and insisted "all criminality must be met with the full and swift force of the law".

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