Organisers of last Saturday’s (13 January) Ceasefire Now Stop Bombing Gaza demonstration have sent a second dossier to the Metropolitan police documenting examples of aggressive and unacceptable police behaviour at and after our march.
The dossier, sent to Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ade Adelekan includes the refusal of Met officers to close the roads around Parliament Square at the agreed time for the stage to be prepared, obstructing and overbearing policing at the Trafalgar Square stage, the ludicrous treatment of a first aid kit box belonging to the organisers as a suspect package, and pulling over for questioning a car convoy displaying Palestinian flags as it arrived in London from Luton.
The organisers of the march and rallies, which saw up to 500,000 peaceful protestors on the streets of London, sent a similar account of heavy-handed and “politicised” policing after the previous 9 December national demonstration.
Taken together with previous incidents and with the unprecedented use of control orders, the huge mobilisation of police for peaceful demonstrations, attempted bans on marches and the harassment of activists and stewards, these incidents add up to a picture of hostile and prejudiced policing of the pro-Palestine movement.
A spokesperson for the organisers said:
“We have demanded a meeting with the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Sir Mark Rowley to discuss these issues, but so far have been refused. As our government seems committed to continuing its support for the ethnic cleansing in Gaza, we have asked him once again for a meeting to ensure that this hostile attitude by his officers ends.”