“CI condemn the violent and totally unacceptable scenes we saw today from the EDL and associated groups and supporters of Hamas who participated in the National March for Palestine,” he said in a statement.
The English Defense League (EDL) is a far-right anti-Muslim organization whose founder, Tommy Robinson, was in London today.
Sunak lamented that “the despicable actions of a minority of people harm those who have chosen to express their views peacefully”.
“This is true of the EDL thugs who attacked police officers and stormed the Cenotaph, and it is true of those who chanted anti-Semitic chants and brandished pro-Hamas posters and clothing at today’s protest,” he said.
The prime minister made the intervention after the police announced the arrest of at least 92 people following clashes with far-right supporters while a pro-Palestinian demonstration was taking place calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.
Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Matt Twist, said that the counter-protests began early in the morning, with the arrival of several hundred people in the British capital who “appeared to want conflict and violence”.
According to the police, the 92 arrests resulted from possession of sharp weapons, batons, drugs and attacks on police officers.
Police estimated that the march in defense of a ceasefire in Gaza mobilized around 300,000 people, which Twist said passed “without incident”.
The demonstration, organized by left-wing groups and Muslim organizations, began near Hyde Park and ended at the United States embassy with a rally.
Last week, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called the pro-Palestinian protests “provocative and disrespectful” because they coincide with Armistice Day, during which soldiers killed in wars since the First World War are remembered.
Tens of thousands of people have taken part in protests every Saturday on the streets of London and other cities across the country since Israel’s bombing of Gaza began in response to deadly attacks by the Palestinian militant group Hamas last month.
The police decided to authorize today’s event because they considered that the information regarding the risk of serious disorder was not sufficient to enact the ban, but they reinforced security with around 2,000 officers and special powers to search people and disperse gatherings.
Interior Minister Suella Braverman accused the police of “favoritism” for allowing the demonstration, which she described as a “bunch of pro-Palestinians” and “hate protesters.”
Read Also: 92 detained in London in counter-protests to pro-Palestinian demonstration
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