Schoolchildren have walked out of their classes as part of a coordinated ‘school strike for Palestine’ – as police forces brace for another wave of protests across the country tomorrow.
In Bristol, youngsters handed in a petition calling for a ceasefire, while similar events took place in other cities including London, Glasgow and Manchester.
The Department of Education has responded by stressing that children should be in school and not ‘missing out on their education’.
More 50 pro-Palestine events are due to take place tomorrow after organisers chose to switch to smaller, local events instead of one big march through the capital.
Today, the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) voiced fears that ‘genocidal hate chanting and antisemitic rhetoric’ would once again be heard on Britain’s streets.
The Metropolitan Police said that a ‘significant’ policing operation is planned for the capital this weekend.
Schoolchildren in Bristol hand in a petition calling for a ceasefire in Gaza to Green Party candidate Carla Denyer today
The Department of Education has responded by stressing that children should be in school and not ‘missing out on their education’
The crowd in Bristol carried pro-Palestinian banners, including one reading ‘save the children’
The Met said 300,000 people joined a pro-Palestinian march through London on Armistice Day, which was once again marred by antisemitic slogans and sickening displays of support for Hamas.
Meanwhile, the CAA filmed several protesters comparing Israel to Nazi Germany, with one branding Benjamin Netanyahu ‘worse than Hitler’.
Last Saturday also saw shocking scenes of violence as far-right football hooligans claiming to be ‘protecting the Cenotaph’ clashed with police.
A march is due to take place in Lincoln on Saturday.
Lincoln MP Karl McCartney told MailOnline today: ‘Any marches for any cause in Lincoln must be orderly and civilised. This is in keeping with the calm nature of our city for those who live here and for our visitors, workers and students.
‘I want to be clear – anyone found to be supporting Hamas, celebrating or calling for the murder of Israelis and Jewish people or the destruction of the Country of Israel, need to be very robustly dealt with by Lincolnshire Police. Immediately and without delay.
‘The Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner, Marc Jones and his Chief Constable must be clear on what they expect from their police officers both now and in the future.’
Today, school children in Bristol handed in a petition calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war to representatives at a city council.
Carla Denyer, co-leader of the Green Party and councillor for Clifton Down ward in the city, collected the petition during the event this morning.
She told children and protesters: ‘Thank you for taking a stand for Palestine and for calling for a ceasefire.
‘The abhorrent situation in Palestine and Israel must end. I know we are all horrified by the Hamas attacks and we all want the immediate release of the hostages.
‘Those atrocities do not in any way justify the level of bombardment of civilians, including many Gazan children, that has shocked the world.’
Ms Denyer described how a child at the first School Strike for Palestine had told told her: ‘I don’t have to lie in bed wondering if the roof is going to come down on my head, like children in Gaza do.’
She told the children gathered at the protest: ‘That broke my heart. None of you should ever have to imagine that happening.’
Schoolchildren in Barking join their local MP Margaret Hodge to call for a ceasefire today
The gathering in Barking comes amid warnings for children to stay in school
Two children with signs reading ‘free Palestine’ and ‘to stand with Palestine is to stand with humanity’
The war, now in its sixth week, was triggered by Hamas’ October 7 attack in southern Israel, in which the militants killed more than 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and captured some 240 men, women and children.
According to Palestinian health authorities, at least 11,470 Palestinians have been killed since the war began while about 2,700 people are reported missing.
In Redbridge, north-east London, around 500 children took part in protests this morning – which have been promoted by the hard-left Stop The War Coalition
Some chanted ‘from the river to the sea’, which is seen by critics as a call for the destruction of Israel, reports Jewish News.
Lloyd Duddridge, a local Labour councillor and cabinet member for children, young people and education, said: ‘In Redbridge you don’t get to play politics with children’s education. Every child today should be in school. No ifs, no buts.’
Tomorrow pro-Palestinian marches will take place in villages, towns and cities across the UK.
‘This Saturday, ordinary people across the UK will come out again to show the vast majority of them support a ceasefire,’ said Ben Jamal, director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC).
The next major march through central London will take place on November 25.
On Wednesday, there was widespread outrage after protesters waving pro-Palestine flags climbed on the Royal Artillery Memorial on Hyde Park Corner.
Police officers were seen standing by as the shameful incident unfolded, leading to renewed debate about how the protests are being policed.
Hundreds of children joined a protest march through Bethnal Green yesterday
Youngsters and adults carrying Palestinian flags and placards calling for Israel to ‘stop the war in Gaza ‘ clogged up the streets in Bethnal Green
A group of police officers appeared to simply watch on as pro-Palestinian protesters climbed on the Royal Artillery memorial at Hyde Park Corner on Wednesday
Met commissioner Sir Mark Rowley defended his officers, saying that while the stunt was ‘inflammatory’ it is not a specific crime to climb on a war memorial.
Sir Mark had faced calls to ban the pro-Palestine march through central London the previous Saturday, with Home Secretary Suella Braverman accusing his force of ‘double standards’ in their treatment of left wing and right wing demonstrators.
She was later sacked by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in a Cabinet reshuffle.
The Campaign Against Antisemitism said today: ‘This weekend, our country will once again become the scene of genocidal chanting and antisemitic rhetoric. While in previous weeks, this thuggery was focused on London, this weekend the so-called ”peaceful protesters” will be preaching hate in towns and cities across Britain.
‘The Met Police have failed in their duty to prevent London becoming a no-go zone for Jews. We will see whether other forces take stronger action against any criminality that arises in these rallies in their jurisdictions.
‘The Jewish community is scared and its allies are disgusted at what we are seeing. That is why, next Sunday, we and other communal groups and friends are holding a national march against antisemitism. Britain is a country known for its tolerance and decency. It is time that we stand up for those values.’
Stop The War Coalition said: ‘Tomorrow is the day of action that we’ve called for. Groups around the country are organising local rallies and marches to basically build for the national demonstration that has been called for next Saturday,’ she said.
Police are ‘actively seeking’ two men pictured wearing Hamas-style headbands at last Saturday’s march in London
A demonstrator last Saturday with a sign showing a Star of David intertwined with a Nazi swastika (left) and another depicting Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman as ‘coconuts’
The spokeswoman added that most of the rallies will have speakers, and some will still march.
‘I think most of them have speakers from various organisations that are involved in the main marches, and then trade unionists,’ she said.
‘Some of them have trade unionists as speakers, and some of them are marching, like the one in Highbury.
‘We are marching to (Labour shadow attorney general) Emily Thornberry’s office from Highbury and Islington station, but some of them are static, so it depends really.’
Temporary Commander Karen Findlay, who is leading policing in London this weekend, said: ‘Whilst there is no single large central protest event on Saturday, our policing priorities remain the same across the local events that are due to take place.
‘We are here to ensure that people can exercise their right to protest but to make sure that is done lawfully, and that unreasonable disruption to the lives of other Londoners is kept to a minimum.
‘Our officers will intervene swiftly where they see offences taking place. In particular, I want to reiterate that there is no place for hate in London. Hate crime will not be tolerated.
‘Regrettably, while the majority of protesters coming out in recent weeks have been peaceful, we have continued to see people taking part in offensive chanting or intentionally carrying placards that cross the line from political statements into racially or religiously aggravated offences.’