Thousands of people attended the first Central London Palestinian demo of the year, organised by the Free Palestine Coalition. Even by the low standards of the Met Police, the behaviour of the plods in central London today was provocative, aggressive and absurd.
The demonstration began with speeches in St James Park, where the cops kicked things off by seizing a sound system and arresting a woman for no apparent reason. They then demonstrated their high understanding of the political situation by forming a cordon to block the route to Buckingham Palace. While it’s true that those in attendance were unlikely to be fans of royalty, there is no connection between our embarrassing monarchy & the Israeli government.
The protest then proceeded peacefully towards Westminster Bridge, where the police threw another hasty and panicked cordon, provoking a series of unnecessary scuffles. If they intended to keep Westminster Bridge open to traffic, their own actions succeeded in bringing it to a standstill for the next two hours.
They didn’t seem to have any plan as those of us outside the kettle witnessed the hilarious spectacle of several inspectors bickering amongst themselves and prodding each other’s clipboards as they tried to figure out what to do next. Meanwhile, the protest settled in for more speeches and a successful sit-down blockade of one of the main routes across the river.
I can only imagine what will happen next Saturday if the thick blue line behaves with the same stupidity when several hundred thousand are expected to march against the ongoing genocide.
Images: Guy Smallman