Police say 100,000 joined the protests in central London on October 21. The protests are in response to the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel, which has cost the lives of 4,000 Palestinians according to local health authorities.

The protest would progress from Marble Arch to Downing Street. This comes just days after Sunak’s visit to Israel, a show of solidarity from the British Government in support of Israel, and as Sunak stated, ‘their right to defend themselves’. 

The march also takes place amidst a time of heightened Islamophobic and antisemitic offences in the capital. Such tensions prompted Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to make a statement on Friday ahead of yesterday’s protests, “Islamophobic and antisemitic abuse is totally unacceptable and I’m determined to ensure the horrific events in Israel and Gaza do not spill over onto our capital’s streets.”

These tensions were not eased by the chanting of the controversial statement, ‘From the River to the Sea Palestine will be Free’, as well as other chants. Chants declaring the Jewish state to be a ‘terrorist state’. Such accusations have emerged following the bombing of Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza on Tuesday. It was claimed by the Gaza Health Ministry that this was an Israeli Attack, but the Israeli Government has since refuted this and has implicated Islamist Jihad as the culprits.

The protests garnered support from the likes of ex-Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn who would state that “The siege must end. The killing must end. The occupation must end.” This sentiment was endorsed by the crowd, who would repeat the mantra ‘free free Palestine’ throughout the March. 

The protests yesterday would also be met with a substantial police presence. The Metropolitan Police claim 1500 officers were deployed in order to ensure that the protest would run ‘safely and securely’. Despite the police presence, ten arrests had to be made yesterday. These arrests were made in response to several offences, including assaults on emergency workers, which has left 5 police officers with ‘minor injuries’, according to authorities.