Chaos as group protests inside Cardiff police station after pro-Palestine campaigner arrested

Footage has shown police and protestors clashing in Cardiff after a man was arrested at a pro-Palestine march. Campaigners staged an emergency march in Cardiff city centre on Monday, June 3 protesting against Israel's attacks on Rafah in Gaza.

Around 60 protestors from groups including Cardiff Stop the War, Black Lives Matter Cardiff and Cymru Students for Palestine marched on Boulevard de Nantes in the city centre. Footage circulating online, which we have blurred for legal reasons, appears to show a pro-Palestinian activist with a megaphone being grabbed by multiple South Wales Police officers before being led away with police holding his arms.

South Wales Police confirmed they arrested a 36-year-old man from Swansea on suspicion of wilful obstruction of the highway and conspiracy to commit public nuisance. For the latest Welsh news delivered to your inbox sign up to our newsletter.

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Campaigners outside the police station in Cardiff -Credit:Mitch McGivern
Campaigners outside the police station in Cardiff -Credit:Mitch McGivern

Campaigners later gathered at Cardiff Bay police station on Monday night demanding the man's release. Footage from the scene shows a number of protestors sitting on the reception floor of the police station with blankets, flasks and camping chairs.

Other protestors inside can be seen linking arms and some can be heard chanting "no justice, no peace" and calling on the force to release the man. Videos show two police officers dragging one person along the floor by the arms while other officers are heard repeatedly asking protestors standing outside the station to "leave the area" and shouting "move back".

There was a heavy police presence at Cardiff Bay police station on Monday night
There was a heavy police presence at Cardiff Bay police station on Monday night -Credit:Mitch McGivern

Cymru Students for Palestine said it was "absolutely disgusted and furious" at the police's actions and called its treatment of protestors "absolutely shameful." It added it would be cancelling any events planned for Tuesday to support those arrested. The Stand Up 4 Palestine group had earlier called on campaigners to gather at the police station following the arrest at the march, saying: "We need to show we do not accept this treatment."

South Wales Police says it has arrested 16 people on suspicion of violent behaviour at a police station. They all remain in custody and enquiries are ongoing. A force statement read: "At around 3.40pm yesterday Monday, June 3 a report was received of a protest involving 50 to 60 protestors on Boulevard de Nantes, near the junction with Park Place, in Cardiff city centre.

"Officers were deployed to maintain public safety, facilitate peaceful protest, and minimise disruption to the wider community. A 36-year-old man from Swansea was arrested on suspicion of wilful obstruction of the highway and conspiracy to commit public nuisance.

"At 9.30pm a further spontaneous protest occurred in the front desk area of Cardiff Bay Police Station and 16 people were arrested on suspicion of violent behaviour at a police station. All those arrested remain in custody and enquiries are ongoing."

In a further statement, police later said that all those arrested had now been released on police bail. The force said no injuries were sustained by any protesters at any point.

Pro-Palestine protestors had marched in Cardiff city centre on Monday afternoon -Credit:R Witts Photography
Pro-Palestine protestors had marched in Cardiff city centre on Monday afternoon -Credit:R Witts Photography
Monday's emergency protest following Israeli attacks on Rafah -Credit:R Witts Photography
Monday's emergency protest following Israeli attacks on Rafah -Credit:R Witts Photography

Pro-Palestine protestors have been staging peaceful marches in Cardiff city centre since last October calling for Israel to stop its attacks in Gaza and criticising the UK government for selling arms to Israel. More than 35,000 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis have reportedly been killed since last year, most of whom lived on the Gaza strip. Several weeks ago Cardiff University students set up an encampment on the lawn of the university's main building as part of calls for the university to cut its ties to Israel-linked investments. Similar student encampments have been set up at Swansea, Bangor and Aberystwyth universities.