Freedom News

Arrests at Israeli Ambassador and President’s event in London

Crowds of pro-Palestine protesters have gathered outside an Israeli fundraising event at the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) attended by Israeli Ambassador to the UK, Tzipi Hotovely, and Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden is also in attendance. Israel’s president, Isaac Hertog, addressed the event via video link. 

RSA staff left the building as a picket formed outside the event in central London this morning. The crowd comprised protesters waving flags, chanting “Shame on you” and playing drums. The crowds have gathered since around 10.30 am and show no signs of dissipating.

“As RSA workers, we had no idea that our employer was hosting this event or that the Israeli Ambassador would be in our workplace today. It’s an affront to many staff, especially those with family or friends in Gaza, which Hotoveley’s Government is turning into a graveyard. The presence of Hotovely, who has made such sickening comments in justification of the killing of tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza, makes many of us feel unsafe in our place of work. We are ashamed that management has allowed this to happen. On top of our ongoing fight for fair pay, this makes clear that they have no regard for staff wellbeing or the progressive values the RSA has historically held.”

~ Nikki, a worker at the RSA who left the building to join the picket and does not wish to give her real name

At least one protester successfully entered the event before being removed by security and arrested.

A leaked email from RSA Operations, which is attached, states that they did not know the details of the event as it was booked by an external client who did not disclose its full details in advance and that they will “investigate immediately”. 

“We salute the RSA workers who walked out and picketed their place of work in protest against their employer playing host to key figures in Israel’s murderous regime. Workers and trade unionists throughout Britain, across different sectors, are taking action in their workplaces against complicity in Israel’s indiscriminate bombing of civilians in Gaza, leading United Nations experts to warn of mass ethnic cleansing. We will continue to organise and disrupt, whether its mass walkouts from our workplaces, blockading arms factories or forcing our employers to divest from Israeli companies which participate in the oppression of Palestinians, we will not stand by while genocide takes place.” 

~ Ali, from Workers for a Free Palestine, which is supporting the protest

Images: Workers for a Free Palestine

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