by David Broder
Our readers will forgive us for another report on the daily protests at the Israeli embassy in response to the war on Gaza. Although the numbers at the 9th January protest were less than on previous days due to a simultaneous demo at the embassy of Egypt, whose government actively participates in the the blockade of Gaza, the protest was remarkable for the arrest of one activist and the aggression of the police, leading to another protestor’s arm being badly broken.
Below are several photos of the demo and a brief summary of the course of events.
Numbers were slightly down on previous days: rather than being allocated a pen we were hemmed in on the pavement opposite the Israeli embassy on Kensington High Street.
As “Critical Mass” cycled past, several of us ran out into the road to join the cyclists’ protest near the embassy gates.
Critical Mass went back and forth, drawing cheers from the crowd.
The police roughly pushed and shoved activists to get us back onto the pavement.
They then thought that we were contained, stuck as we were behind a line of police standing close to one another.
But it wasn’t too difficult to get round the end of the police ranks as Critical Mass returned…
… one activist was arrested for “obstructing the highway”. He was freed four hours later.
One of the people who had tried to help him had her arm sharply pulled behind her back by the police, causing a nasty break. This was a shockingly violent act by the police, coming as it did in cold blood after the arrest (for a very minor infringement of the law) was already over. Shamefully, the protests’ self-appointed organisers, using a megaphone, condemned our “violence” and said we were not part of their demonstration.
Demonstrations at the embassy continue tomorrow with the mass rally starting at noon in London’s Hyde Park.