Join us Donate

PSC and Coalition partners are calling on the Met Police to back down from threats to prevent a pro-Palestine demonstration in central London on Saturday July 6th

  • Police threaten to impose orders to keep protests away from Parliament area
  • Palestine protest organisers have been informed that they will not be allowed to assemble or end a march in Whitehall or Parliament Square on Saturday July 6th despite the route having been proposed to the police over a month ago, and the police having raised no objections
  • Organisers believe key issue is the desire of the incoming Starmer government not to have images of pro Palestine protestors in the area of Whitehall in the first few days of his government

Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and its Coalition partners have today condemned attempts by the Met Police to prevent a pro-Palestine march in central London on Saturday 6th July, and called upon the police to accept the compromise route which has been suggested. To date the police are suggesting they will only allow a protest well away from central London.

This will be the 16th major demonstration in London since Israel began its genocidal attack on Gaza in October 2023. Despite following all the normal protocols in coordinating with the police, the march organisers have not been offered any central London start or end point for the demonstration, in contrast to every other occasion. No persuasive reason has been given by the police and the organisers believe it reflects a political consideration not to have a new Government, which all the polls indicate will be led by Sir Keir Starmer, overshadowed by hundreds of thousands of demonstrators seeking to end UK complicity with Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

The Coalition behind the marches had notified the police of the intention to hold a demonstration over a month ago, and have had meetings to discuss several routes which have become well established over the last 9 months. In a meeting with the Gold Commander on June 21st, no objections were raised about the proposal to rally in Whitehall at the end of the march, and it was agreed that the police would confirm acceptance on June 24th. Despite the coalition organisers chasing the police for confirmation that day, no communication was received until June 26th when the police indicated that they would not allow a march which ended on Whitehall or Parliament Square, citing the need for businesses, tourists, the media and politicians to have access to that area all day.

The marches have been overwhelmingly peaceful by the police’s own admission and with few arrests – just 2 out of 175 000 people at the last demonstration. Despite this the police have sought to reject these proposals without providing any convincing justification. The Coalition has written to the police suggesting a compromise route beginning on the Embankment, marching via Parliament Square to the Israeli Embassy. This would occupy one side of the square for a maximum of 2 hours as protestors marched though and leave Whitehall completely free. The police have been asked to respond positively to this compromise to allow the march to proceed without hindrance.

Ben Jamal, PSC Director, said:

“Keir Starmer is facing his first test on the willingness of his government to support the right to peaceful protest, including for protest to take place near Westminster. The Met Police are threatening to use repressive powers under pernicious legislation passed by the Tory Government to stop a protest near Parliament. It has been legitimate for nine months for hundreds of thousands of people to bring their demands for justice for Palestine to the seat of Government, but suddenly it is not. There is no sensible or persuasive reason for this, other than the new Government might be embarrassed to have pictures beamed around the world with people in Whitehall demanding justice for Palestine. This is the first big test of the incoming Government – will they robustly uphold the democratic right to protest?”

NB: Coalition partners are PSC, Palestine Forum in Britain, Friends of Al Aqsa, Stop the War Coalition, Muslim Association of Britain and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament