A total of 29 people were arrested on Saturday after thousands of pro-Palestinian Arab protesters gathered in London’s Trafalgar Square demanding a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, The Independent reported.
They were arrested for inciting racial hatred, other racially motivated crimes, violence and assaulting a police officer, the Metropolitan Police said.
Demonstrators had climbed on top of the square’s famous fountains as the mostly peaceful group waved flags and banners on Saturday afternoon, but police said some of the demonstrators launched fireworks into crowds and toward officers.
There were scuffles with police as the evening went on, and smaller groups of protesters began moving away from the square.
More than 1,300 officers were on duty in the area, four of whom were injured, the force said.
At least one protester was seen carrying a banner which read “Let’s keep the world clean” with a picture of an Israeli flag being thrown into a bin.
Other protesters chanted “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”, according to The Independent.
The Met issued a dispersal order for an area around the square and also issued an order giving officers the power to require someone to remove any item being used to conceal their identity.
Police recently said that antisemitic hate crimes in London have soared amid the Israel-Hamas war. As Between October 1 and 18, there had been 218 antisemitic offences in London, compared to 15 in the same period last year.
In one incident, pro-Palestinian Arab activists vandalized a kosher restaurant in London.