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Largest pro-Palestinian rally in British history brings London to a standstill

MORE than 800,000 people brought London to a standstill on Saturday in one of the largest political marches in British history.

Demonstrators flooded the streets for a peaceful protest against Israel’s continued bombardment of Gaza. 

Protesters demanded that the government call for an immediate ceasefire, as Israeli ground forces close in on Gaza’s largest hospital.

Civilians are currently seeking shelter and treatment at the complex, while air strikes destroy the territory, creating what the UN has described as “hell on earth.”

“Israel’s indiscriminate bombing has already killed over 11,000 Palestinians, including nearly 5,000 children with many more missing, presumed dead under the rubble of their own homes,” said Ben Jamal, director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which helped organise the protest. 

“Our call today is that this is unacceptable. These are war crimes.”  

Protesters shouted “free Palestine” and “ceasefire now.”

Meanwhile, choruses of "Rishi Sunak is a wasteman” rang through the crowd, calling for the Prime Minister to resign.

Beginning at Hyde Park at midday, the protest route led to the US embassy just three miles away — but the unprecedented numbers meant it was after dusk before many reached the endpoint.

Several Tube stations were also closed throughout the city due to the massive crowds.

On the barbarities committed by Israel, Muslim Association of Britain president Ragad Altikriti said: “This is not history, it’s not an event that happened and now we can analyse. We’re living it. We’re seeing it.

“Our responsibility as human beings is to stand against this atrocity that is taking place.“

Ms Altikriti underscored the impact of the mass demonstrations: “It is our collective voice that is pushing the governments and the world leaders to change their stances. 

“You can see that people were very harsh in demanding the water and electricity and giving impunity to Israel.

“Now they’re trying to turn around and to soften their stances.”

Citing a YouGov poll where 76 per cent of Brits support a ceasefire, she added: “Our politicians have to respond to the voice of the people.”

The rally took place on Armistice Day, which commemorates soldiers who lost their lives during WWI. 

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has been accused of using the anniversary to fuel violence. 

She suggested that the Palestine rally, which she branded a “hate march,” posed a threat to Cenotaph and Armistice commemorations.

Far-right protesters who claimed they would “protect” the Cenotaph clashed with police on Saturday, leading to 82 arrests. 

“Suella Braverman is an expert in hate,” said Stop the War co-founder John Rees, as he assisted with preparations for the rally. 

“She’s the most divisive politician to hold cabinet rank since Enoch Powell, and Ted Heath sacked Powell from the cabinet for saying the kind of things she says.

“Before she spoke, there was no Tommy Robinson demonstration. After she spoke, they’re down there fighting with the police.

“So if there's somebody who’s caused disorder today, it’s the Home Secretary.”

One protester, 54-year-old Inayat Bunglawala, described the Pro-Palestine rally as “colossal” and said people were “deeply respectful of Armistice Day.”

He said: “I’m really happy that a huge crowd has come out. Despite all the intimidatory rhetoric from the Home Secretary, the Prime Minister, other ministers.

“People have still come out to exercise their democratic rights.”

At the end of the march at Nine Elms, former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was introduced on stage to the huge crowd as “the people’s prime minister.”

He said: “They said we shouldn’t be marching on Remembrance weekend.

“Well I simply say this, we march in memory of all those who died in all wars, in all conflicts.”

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