London’s Metropolitan Police says it is powerless to stop a pro-Palestinian rally from going ahead Saturday, despite the date falling on Armistice Day, when Brits honor their war dead.
Despite officially falling on November 11, Armistice Day ceremonies will only take place Sunday. UK politicians and others had sought for the pro-Palestinian rally to be pushed off “due to the day’s solemnity and fears that London’s cenotaph could be vandalized,” British media reported.
“The laws created by Parliament are clear. There is no absolute power to ban protest, therefore there will be a protest this weekend,” Commissioner Mark Rawley said.
He added that intelligence about the potential for the alleged disorder “does not meet the threshold to apply for a ban,” noting that organizers have agreed to stay away from the cenotaph and Whitehall.
Weekly pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel protests in London have drawn up to 100,000 people.
Near Manchester, police have been dispatched to guard the cenotaph in Rochdale after it was daubed with “free Palestine” on Tuesday, the BBC reported.