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Police have detained a "breakaway group" of about 150 pro-Palestine protesters after a fraught day of clashes with far-right counter-demonstrators in central London on Armistice Day.
Some of those in Grosvenor Place were firing fireworks, and many wore face coverings, allowing police to search and detain them under a disperal order.
More than 300,000 people were estimated to have marched through London as part of a planned demonstration calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. Organisers dispute the police's figure, claiming the crowd was as large as 800,000.
Earlier on Saturday counter-demonstrators carrying St George’s flags and shouting "England ’til I die" went head-to-head with police as they tried to break through to the Cenotaph.
Clashes later broke out between police, counter-protesters and pro-Palestine demonstrators around Parliament Square, with officers using batons to control the crowds.
Earlier in the day, police said they'd arrested more than 100 people throughout the day, the vast majority of whom were far-right protesters - mainly to "prevent a breach of the peace" but in some cases for possession of offensive weapons, affray and possession of drugs.
All eyes are now on home secretary Suella Braverman, who was accused of inflaming tensions and "shate marches".
Pro-Palestinian 'breakaway group' of 150 detained by police after demonstrators 'set off fireworks'
The Met Police says it has detained a breakaway group of around 150 pro-Palestinian protesters in Grosvenor Place.
Some of the demonstrators were shooting fireworks and many wore face coverings, the force said, adding that officers used powers given under a recently issued dispersal order to search and detain people.
Police issue dispersal order in City of Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea
A dispersal order has been issued in the City of Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea to make it easier for officers to crackdown on anti-social behaviour.
It comes after counter-demonstrators clashed with pro-Palestine protesters and police near Parliament Square on Saturday evening.
The order gives officers powers to "disperse anti-social behaviour as well as powers under S60 & S60AA to search for weapons & remove face coverings".
Michael Gove surrounded by pro-Palestine protesters chanting 'shame on you'
Housing secretary Michael Gove was surrounded by pro-Palestine demonstrators in Victoria Station today who shouted "shame on you, shame on you".
Footage shared on social media shows the Cabinet minister being flanked by police officers, who pushed protesters out of the Cabinet minister's way.
'No better way' to honour Armistice Day than with pro-Palestine march, protester says
Demonstrators at Vauxhall Bridge earlier today (Alamy)
While a number of politicians have said holding protests on Armistice Day would be "disrespectful", one demonstrator said it was actually rather fitting.
Speaking amidst today's crowds on Bressenden Place, Inayat Bunglawala, 54, from Luton, said: “Armistice Day is meant to commemorate the end of the First World War and the ceasefire that came along with it to end the bloodshed. I think there is no better way to honour Armistice Day than to call for an end to the current bloodshed in Gaza.”
The network engineer described the crowds as “colossal” and said people were “deeply respectful of Armistice Day”, despite the marches being described as a “hate march” by home secretary Suella Braverman.
“I saw a colossal crowd coming out with ordinary members of the public and families,” he said.
“I’m really happy that a huge crowd has come out. Despite all the intimidatory rhetoric from the Home Secretary, the Prime Minister, other ministers… People have still come out to exercise their democratic rights.”
Sunak condemns actions by by far-right group and “Hamas sympathisers”
Rishi Sunak has condemned actions by far-right groups and those he referred to as “Hamas sympathisers” in central London today.
In a statement, the prime minister condemned “violent, wholly unacceptable” actions seen in the capital, mainly from far-right counter-protesters, saying “all criminality must be met with the full and swift force of the law”.
He also criticised those singing “antisemitic songs” and “brandishing pro-Hamas signs and clothing”.
Sunak has come under pressure to sack his home secretary Braverman after she was accused of inflaming tensions and "emboldening" the far-right.
Police made over 100 arrests in central London after clashes between officers and far-right counter-protesters during the pro-Palestinian march.
Small clash at the Cenotaph between Palestine marchers and counter-demonstrators
Officers stand guard by the Cenotaph earlier in the day (Alamy)
A group of pro-Palestine demonstrators have walked past the Cenotaph in London, and a small number remain there.
They are clashing verbally with a small group of counter-protesters while a group of around 10 police officers, who have asked the counter-protesters to move on, stand by the monument.
Protesters disperse from Waterloo Station as police 'move in to make arrests'
A small splinter group staged a sit-down in Waterloo Station (Alamy)
A small group of protesters who sat in the middle of Waterloo Station have been dispersed after police moved into an "arrest phase".
"As we moved to our arrest phase in Waterloo Station, protesters began to disperse," British Transport Police said.
"No arrests were made. The station is clear now, and passengers are able to use the station as normal."
Counter-protesters clash with police and Palestine supporters at Parliament Square
A group of around 150 counter-protesters have made their way to Parliament Square (Alamy)
A crowd of around 150 counter-protesters are hanging around Parliament Square and have approached people involved in today's pro-Palestine march, the BBC reports.
The broadcaster said an "offensive chant about Allah" has been repeated, while a Palestinian flag was snatched from one protester and ripped up.
A number of counter-protesters have been arrested, with police reported to have used batons on the crowd.
Police now say more than 100 people have been arrested today, the vast majority of whom are counter-protesters.
Pro-Palestinian march organisers claim 800,000 people in attendance
Organisers of today's pro-Palestinian march in London have claimed more than 800,000 people have attended.
A woman using a speaker system from the stage the end of the march in Nine Elms said: “There are more than 800,000 of us here today and that number may be as high as one million. Making this the second largest march in British history.”
But the Met Police had claimed earlier on Saturday that around 300,000 had been at the demonstration in central London, the BBC reported.
The police added there were also “several hundred” counter-protesters at event, with dozens of arrests made among this group.
Suella Braverman urged to speak up over far-right clashes with police
Home secretary Suella Braverman is yet to comment publicly on today's events in London, amid accusations she has 'emboldened' far-right counter-protesters with her recent rhetoric.
She has described pro-Palestinian demonstrations as "hate marches", while accusing the Met Police of playing favourites with them over right wing protesters in an unauthorised op-ed for The Times.
Sharing a video of clashes between counter-demonstrators and police, Nick Lowles, managing director of anti-racism charity Hope Not Hate, posted on Twitter: "Still not a word of condemnation from @SuellaBraverman."
Revealed: Exact route pro-Palestine march will take on Armistice Day (Read more)
What is the meaning and significance behind Armistice Day? (Read more)
Where is Gaza and who lives there? Map shows location of Palestinian territory (Read more)
The Israel-Hamas conflict explained (Read more)
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