Organisers of pro-Israel prayer walk in north London say they've been 'silenced' by police

23 October 2023, 07:54 | Updated: 23 October 2023, 08:06

Pro-Palestine protests in London on Saturday and (right) Israel supporters take part in another protest on Sunday
Pro-Palestine protests in London on Saturday and (right) Israel supporters take part in another protest on Sunday. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Organisers of a pro-Israel prayer walk in a Jewish area of north London say they have been ‘silenced’ by police who warned them to call it off.

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The planned ‘pray for Israel and the Jewish People’ walk in Golders Green was called off after police warned that participants might be ‘injured or intimidated,’ the Telegraph reports.

Organisers Christian Action Against Anti-Semitism had hoped up to 30,000 people would attend the event. Meanwhile a pro-Palestine rally took place in central London on the same day.

The group originally planned their prayer outside the Israeli embassy in central London but decided to move it to Golders Green after speaking to members of the Jewish community.

Two days before the planned event police urged organisers to cancel it.

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Police contacted them last Thursday to say the event was being portrayed as an attack on Muslims and police strongly advised the event should not go ahead.

Ten people were arrested during a central London pro-Palestinian march that happened on Saturday.

Hayley Ace, of Christian Action Against Anti-Semitism, said: “Our first response was outrage, because we have a right to gather and feel safe on the streets of London, especially as we are gathering around a banner of peace. 

“It felt like a silencing.”

A Met spokesperson said: “In the days since the attacks in Israel took place, officers have worked to facilitate numerous demonstrations, vigils and other gatherings across London.

“Ahead of a planned vigil in Hendon on Saturday Oct 21 by Christian Action Against Anti-Semitism, officers were in discussion with the organiser to discuss timings and route they would take. 

“As with any event, the police offer guidance and advice. Following those discussions, a decision was made by [the] organiser to cancel the vigil.”

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