We are deeply concerned at the statement released by the Met Police with regards to our proposed march on November 11. We have been meeting with the Police regularly in the past few weeks to maximise public safety in the large scale protests we have been organising. These protests have brought in total over 1 million people to the streets of London marching peacefully, calling for a ceasefire.
We met earlier today with the Police to finalise the route details of the planned march on Saturday going from Marble Arch to The US Embassy – well away from the centre of London and Whitehall. At that meeting the Police made clear, as reaffirmed in their statement, that the marches we had organised had been overwhelmingly peaceful with low levels of arrest.
They asked us to consider not marching this Saturday and postponing for a week because of the sensitivity of this weekend. It is categorically untrue that the Police told us that it was not appropriate to protest this weekend. They raised a concern about the possibility of breakaway groups leaving the march but were not able to provide any evidence as to why this risk would be increased on Saturday 11 November.
As we made clear in the meeting, we recognise the political pressure being placed on the police by the Government and right wing political groups. However, we emphasise that they had and have a responsibility to withstand that pressure and act to uphold democratic freedoms including the right to protest.
Those mounting pressure are the same voices actively resisting the call for a ceasefire despite overwhelming public support for that call. The idea that it is acceptable for Israel to keep bombing and killing Palestinians in Gaza including over 4000 children, but not for people to protest peacefully against these crimes is grotesque.
We will be holding a protest on Saturday and we invite all people of conscience to join us in peacefully marching, as planned, from Hyde Park to the US Embassy. Despite their statement we will continue to engage with the Police to ensure public safety on this protest.