Cenotaph under 24/7 police guard and protesters banned from central London amid fears of violent Remembrance Day clashes | The Sun

A MASSIVE 24/7 ring of steel will protect the Cenotaph amid fears of violent clashes at pro-Palestinian protests on Armistice Day.

More than half a million protesters are expected to march through central London calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Protesters will gather in Hyde Park at midday before marching to the US embassy at Vauxhall for around 4pm.

More than 11,000 people in Gaza have been killed by Israeli airstrikes since the Hamas massacre on October 7, including 4,500 children.

Scotland Yard said protesters will be "effectively banned" from going anywhere near Remembrance events at the Cenotaph – which is not on the planned march route.

The Cenotaph will be protected by metal barriers and officers working around the clock until Remembrance events are over on Sunday.

Read More UK News


We're visiting every pub in the UK – here's where I found the cheapest pint


Moment laughing thief steals £1,100 from pensioner on mobility scooter

The Met said: "To protect national remembrance events and locations, particularly the Cenotaph, an exclusion zone will be put in place.

"It will cover Whitehall, Horse Guards Parade, the Westminster Abbey Field of Remembrance and other relevant areas, in effect banning those on the march from these locations.

"Anyone believed to be part of, or associated with, the pro-Palestinian demonstration trying to assemble in this area can be arrested.

"There will be metal barriers and officers in place to protect it.

Most read in The Sun


Home And Away star Johnny Ruffo dies aged just 35 after brain cancer battle


Inside the appalling murder of missing teen Charlene Downes in Blackpool


Inside lair where Hamas plotted Israeli kibbutz atrocity with 3D model


I’m A Celeb official line-up as Nigel Farage and Britney’s sis head into jungle

"The Cenotaph will have a dedicated 24 hour police presence which began on Thursday and will remain in place until the conclusion of remembrance events on Sunday.

"Officers will be preventing anyone from approaching or interfering with the Cenotaph in any way."

Protesters have also been banned from the US embassy in Nine Elms and the Israeli embassy in High Street Kensington.

A dispersal order is in place for any smaller groups causing disorder in Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus.

Cops have also been given special search powers in Westminster and parts of Wandsworth and Lambeth, in response to concerns there could be a counter-protest involving far-right groups and football hooligans.

The powers allow them to search anyone in the area for weapons and make them take off face coverings.

Specialist officers in cars and motorbikes will track hate convoys planning to "pass through Jewish communities waving flags and shouting anti-Semitic abuse".

Police will "intervene as they approach" to stop the convoys terrorising Jewish communities in and around London.

It comes days after Home Secretary Suella Braverman accused the police of "playing favourites" with left-wing protesters – sparking civil war in the Tory party.

Braverman's article in The Times slamming what she called "hate marches" was not cleared by No 10, possibly breaking the Ministerial Code.

At lunchtime No10 chose to stand by an embattled Ms Braverman.

More than 1,000 cops from across the UK have been drafted into London amid fears of violent clashes.

They will join around 2,000 Met officers policing a pro-Palestine march through central London after Saturday’s two-minute silence.

The reinforcements from the counties under mutual aid arrangements follows intelligence that breakaway groups could try to provoke trouble.

There will be an extra 778 regional cops on duty in the capital on Saturday and 288 on Sunday.

Chief Constable Chris Haward, leading the police response to the trouble arising from conflict in Gaza, said more than 100,000 protestors could be heading for the capital.

But he said it was impossible to ban the march because the threat of serious violence had to be proved under the law.

He added that even if a march was barred, police would still not be able to stop a huge crowd gathering in one place.

"You will still expect to have 100,000 people, maybe more, turning up who will then be in a static position," he said.

Mr Haward added: "The threshold (for a ban) is extremely high. It is about serious violence, and not about the words that might be chanted."

Gavin Stephens, chairman of the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC), stressed that protests outside the capital since the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas have been “largely peaceful.”

Just eight arrests were made at 67 protests across the country between November 2 and 5.

However, 29 people were arrested over the central London protest last weekend.

Fireworks were thrown at cops and crowds chanted anti-Israel slogans.

He defended Met commissioner Sir Mark Rowley’s right to allow the Armistice Day march in the face of opposition from the Government.

Mr Stephens said: "In policing we need the space to make difficult operational decisions in an independent manner.

"That space is set out very clearly in law in the Policing Protocol Order which was refreshed earlier this year.

"The decisions that we take are not easy ones, but we do so impartially, without fear or favour, and in line with both the law and our authorised professional practice."

And Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has warned that Sir Mark would be accountable for maintaining order over the weekend.

Read More on The Sun


Supermarket ditches self-service checkouts as shoppers say they take LONGER


Bizarre 'hidden' iPhone setting secretly draining your battery – turn it off NOW 

Mr Stephens said it is "really important that the public debate doesn't feature in our operational decision making."

He said it would "fundamentally undermine" how policing works in the UK.

Source: Read Full Article