Anti-Israel rallies rage in 48 locations after Rishi Sunak warned about ‘hijacking by extremists’

Protestors could be heard chanting ‘from the river to the sea’, defying the Prime Minister’s concerns


Police protect statue of Winston Churchill (Photo: Twitter: @IncMonocle)

Anti-Israel protestors took to the streets in 48 locations around Britain as part of a “Day of Action for Palestine” after a warning from Rishi Sunak that democracy is being undermined by extremists.

Footage of protesters in London showed them shouting and waving Palestinian flags at the foot of Nelson's Column as police officers tried to clear the group in Trafalgar Square on Saturday.

Westminster Police confirmed that 12 arrests were made.

Other protests targeted Barclays Bank, which radical activists accused of having “substantial financial ties with arms companies supplying weapons and military technology to Israel”.

At one demonstration outside a branch of the bank on Tottenham Court Road, police officers could be seen forming a human wall in front of protestors.

Activists marched from Mornington Crescent to the central London branch of Barclays and could be heard chanting the genocidal slogan “from the river to the sea”, according to the Daily Mail.

Additional protests against the bank were held in 48 locations in England, Scotland and Wales, according to organisers.

In his speech on Friday, the Conservative Party leader appealed directly to the activists. “Don’t let the extremists hijack your marches,” he said.

“You have a chance in the coming weeks to show that you can protest decently, peacefully and with empathy for your fellow citizens.

“Let us prove these extremists wrong and show them that even when we disagree, we will never be disunited.”

The police have faced criticism for the policing of previous anti-Israe rallies.

The former Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, accused The Met of “playing favourites when it comes to protesters”.

In his speech on Friday, the Prime Minister spoke about the “poison” on the streets of Britain following the October 7 attacks by Hamas.

Sunak said there were “forces here at home trying to tear us apart”.

Speaking in an address to the nation from Downing Street, he said: “What started as protests on our streets have descended into intimidation, threats and planned acts of violence.

“Jewish children, fearful to wear their school uniform lest it reveals their identity. Muslim women abused in the street for the actions of a terrorist group they have no connection with.

“Now our democracy itself is a target.”

He addressed the victory of George Galloway in the Rochdale by-election describing it as “beyond alarming”.

He said: “Council meetings and local events have been stormed. MPs do not feel safe in their homes. Long-standing parliamentary conventions have been upended because of safety concerns.

“And it’s beyond alarming that last night, the Rochdale by-election returned a candidate that dismisses the horror of what happened on October 7, who glorifies Hezbollah and is endorsed by Nick Griffin, the racist former leader of the BNP.”

Galloway triumphantly celebrated his win in Rochdale as being “for Gaza”.

Sunak said he had met senior police chiefs to tell them “we will back you when you take action,” he said.

He the Government would introduce a “new robust framework” to “ensure we are dealing with the root cause of this problem”.

Since Sunak’s speech, senior security officials have privately warned MPs about the threat of a terrorist attack on British soil rising rapidly because of the war in Gaza.

According to the Daily Mail, security officials said the level of extremists' “chatter” intercepted by spies has reached its highest level since 9/11.

One MP with knowledge of the most recent briefings told the paper: “The level of extremist chatter is off the scale. This is something they've seen growing and growing.”

Security officials are understood to be concerned about an upsurge in extremist activity during Ramadan, which starts next Sunday.

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