Police to form ‘ring of steel’ for London Pro-Palestine protest on Armistice Day

This weekend, the Met will forge a “ring of steel” around the Cenotaph in a high-stakes effort to prevent violence when thousands of pro-Palestine protestors descend on the city for Armistice Day parades.

Police officials have cancelled leave, increased overtime, and called in 1,000 more officers from across the country to reinforce their ranks amid fears of further unrest.

Met specialised public order teams have assessed the risk of disorder and devised tactics to keep competing factions apart.

Based on the report he has received, Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley has determined that he does not have grounds to prohibit the pro-Palestine march.

Officers will be monitoring social media for any indications of criminal intent by demonstrators. That threat was found insufficient to warrant a suspension, but Scotland Yard has promised to crack down on anyone breaking the law.

The commissioner warned the force would “protect locations and events of national importance at all costs” if protestors disrupted the remembrance events.

On Saturday, more than 70,000 protesters are expected to gather in London to protest Israel’s shelling of Gaza.

The protest will begin in Hyde Park shortly after a two-minute pause at Westminster’s Cenotaph for dead soldiers and women.

The Met is facing new challenges from the far right, with fears that officers will clash with protestors. Some football violence campaigners have volunteered to travel to central London to safeguard the Cenotaph from Pro Palestine demonstrators.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has also stated that if violence erupts, the commissioner will be held accountable.

He said: “The laws created by Parliament are clear. There is no absolute power to ban protest, therefore there will be a protest this weekend.

“The law provides no mechanism to ban a static gathering of people. It contains legislation which allows us to impose conditions to reduce disruption and the risk of violence, and in the most extreme cases when no other tactics can work, for marches or moving protests to be banned.”

He said use of the power to block moving protests is “incredibly rare” and must be reserved for cases where there is intelligence to suggest a “real threat” of serious disorder.

Snow expected to fall as large swaths of the UK shiver in -2C weather