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5 Nov, 2023 01:36

UK home secretary threatens pro-Palestine protesters with jail time

There will be a swift response if activists vandalize the Cenotaph war memorial, Suella Braverman has said
UK home secretary threatens pro-Palestine protesters with jail time

Pro-Palestine activists should be jailed immediately if they attempt to desecrate the iconic London monument to fallen British soldiers – the Cenotaph – UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman warned, in light of plans to hold protests on Armistice Day on November 11.

“If anyone were to vandalize the Cenotaph, they must be put into a jail cell faster than their feet can touch the ground,” Braverman told Sky News on Saturday.

She promised that the authorities “won’t hesitate to act” if police need reinforcements to deal with “utterly odious” conduct during rallies.

Braverman doubled down on labeling pro-Palestinian demonstrations “hate marches,” arguing that there is “no excuse” when the exercise of the freedom of speech “crosses the line” into hateful slogans. 

The home secretary’s statement came after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak denounced the planned Armistice Day protests as “provocative and disrespectful,” warning about the risk of desecration of the Cenotaph and other war memorials. 

On Saturday, Palestine supporters protested on Trafalgar Square and staged a sit-in, blocking traffic at the corner of Oxford Circus and Regent Street. They were filmed shouting “smash the Zionist settler state” in the London subway and at least one person was holding a sign with an image of the Star of David being thrown into a trash bin, with the slogan: “Let’s keep the world clean.” 

A total of 29 people were arrested in London on Saturday for inciting racial hatred and other crimes, including assaulting a police officer, the Metropolitan Police said.