Videos: Hundreds of pro-Palestine protesters block Westminster Bridge to demand ceasefire in Gaza war

Mohamed Hatem , Saturday 6 Jan 2024

Pro-Palestine protesters hit the streets of London and Paris on Saturday, in the biggest demonstrations since the start of the new year, calling for an immediate ceasefire in Israel's deadly war on Gaza.

Westminster Bridge
Pro-Palestinian supporter lay on the ground of Westminster Bridge during a demonstration in central London on January 6, 2024. AFP


In London, hundreds of protesters blocked roads outside the British Parliament and staged a sit-in at Westminster Bridge, to demand an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Saturday's London protests also called for the UK to stop selling arms to Israel and demanded an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine.   

London Police made several arrests at the park, as protesters marched through Westminster before being stopped by officers next to Big Ben, culminating in a sit-in at Westminister Bridge.

A video circulating on social media showed Metropolitan police cracking down on demonstrators.

Westminister sit-in

Police crackdown

Despite facing increasing domestic pressures to take a harder stance against the Israeli war on Gaza, Britain has not supported the call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza to date.

The march in London comes two days before the British parliament returns to work after its Christmas break.

The latest protest aimed to push the government to change its stance on the war

On Wednesday, UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron said his country wants to see "progress towards a sustainable ceasefire," noting he had discussed the issues with new Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz.

Across the Channel

In Paris, Pro-Palestine marchers carried placards supporting the Palestinian cause and called for an immediate end to what they described as the ongoing Israeli genocide in Gaza.

French police also deployed in front of a Carrefour as pro-Palestine protesters called for an end to the Israeli aggression.

Like Britain, France has not demanded an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza war despite mounting heavy criticism from the Élysée against the Israelis for the heavy death toll it has incurred on the civilian population in the strip.

Under increasing domestic opposition to the war, President Emmanuel Macron called for working towards a "lasting ceasefire" during a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in late December, expressing his "deepest concerns" for the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.

On 12 December, France voted in favour of a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution calling for an  "immediate humanitarian ceasefire" in the Gaza Strip.

Earlier, on 8 December, France voted in favour of a UNSC resolution calling for a ceasefire in the war on the strip, which was ultimately vetoed by the United States.

The UK, on its part, has abstained from voting on both occasions.

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