Metropolitan Police officers threatened to arrest protesters displaying the flag of terrorist organisation Hezbollah at an anti-Balfour march in central London.
Organisers of the Make It Right For Palestine rally were overheard telling protesters at the start of Saturday’s demonstration in Grosvenor Square, Mayfair: “Please, no one fly the Hezbollah flag. We have promised the police that no one will fly a Hezbollah flag.”
The JC has been told that officers from the Metropolitan Police had earlier made it known that they would arrest anyone flying the Lebanese-based terror group’s flag, which features a raised fist clasping a machine gun.
The move by police seems to signal a change in policy over calls for action against displays of support for the group only a few weeks after Home Secretary Amber Rudd refused to comment on whether the group was “under consideration for proscription”.
In June, marchers at the annual Al-Quds Day protest in London exploited a legal loophole to wave Hezbollah flags.
While the military wing of the Shi’a Islamist group is banned, its political wing is not, allowing marchers to claim they were supporting the unproscribed section.
Following the Al Quds day protest, police confirmed to the JC they had launched a probe on whether the display of the flags contravened UK terror laws.
Labour MP Louise Ellman and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan had been among those to write to the Home Secretary calling for action.
Police estimated that around ,3000 people turned up for Saturday’s anti-Balfour march and there appeared to be no instances of the flags being raised.
The JC has contacted the Metropolitan Police for official comment.