The planned pro-Palestinian protest set to take place on Armistice Day will go ahead, despite calls from the Prime Minister and concerns from various groups. The Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, stated that he does not have the power to ban the gathering, explaining that the law does not provide a mechanism for such a ban.
Organizers of the event have confirmed that they do not intend to target any Remembrance events and will stay away from the Cenotaph and Whitehall. However, there are worries about the potential involvement of splinter groups resorting to violence and disruption.
Sir Mark emphasized that the police force will do everything within their power to ensure that Remembrance commemorations proceed without any disruptions. While there have been concerns raised about the potential for disorder, the intelligence currently does not meet the threshold required for a ban to be enforced.
In the recent weeks leading up to the planned protest, there has been an escalation of violence and criminal activity by small groups associated with demonstrations. However, it is important to note that the use of the police’s power to ban protests is incredibly rare and must be based on intelligence indicating a real threat of serious disorder with no alternative means of managing the event.
The march is expected to commence at Marble Arch and proceed to the US Embassy in Nine Elms, south London. Approximately 70,000 people are anticipated to participate in the demonstration. Concerns about anti-Semitic chants and the glorification of terrorist acts have been voiced by various groups, making certain areas of London feel unwelcoming for Jews.
Despite the controversy surrounding the event, the police force remains focused on the factual information currently available, working to develop a plan that ensures the highest level of protection for all events throughout the weekend.
Can the Metropolitan Police Commissioner ban the pro-Palestinian protest on Armistice Day?
No, Sir Mark Rowley, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, does not have the power to ban the planned protest. The law does not provide a mechanism for banning gatherings or static protests.
Will the pro-Palestinian protest target Remembrance events?
Organizers of the protest have confirmed that they have no intention of targeting any Remembrance events. They will stay away from the Cenotaph and Whitehall.
What are the concerns surrounding the protest?
There are concerns about potential splinter groups resorting to violence and disruption during the protest. Anti-Semitic chants and the glorification of terrorist acts have raised worries about the atmosphere in certain parts of London.
Will the police take action if the intelligence about potential disorder evolves?
If the intelligence regarding the potential for serious disorder reaches a threshold, the police will approach the Home Secretary to seek further action. Currently, the intelligence does not meet the required threshold for a ban.