Compilation of UK and EU handling of pro-Palestine protests
Police in EU countries including France and Germany are taking a much more blunt stance against pro-Palestine protestors compared to the UK.
Videos posted online show the differences between cops in different European nations, with UK police forces so far opting for perhaps the softest of all approaches.
Footages appears to shows cops in the likes of France, Germany and Italy brutally beating up some protestors who cause trouble, while UK officers can be seen taking a more “hands off” approach.
It comes as Pro-Palestine rallies in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom have sparked debates over public order, freedom of expression, and the handling of extremist rhetoric, leading to a flurry of reactions from leaders and law enforcement agencies across the continent.
In France, the highest court ruled on Wednesday that pro-Palestine demonstrations can still be banned in the country. The ruling rejected an appeal from an organisation advocating for the Palestinian cause in France. However, the court stipulated that local authorities alone should evaluate individual cases to assess potential risks to public order.
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The Palestine Action Committee, a French-based pro-Palestinian organisation, filed an appeal to the French Council of State, contesting Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin’s instruction to regional leaders to prohibit pro-Palestine protests.
The organisation argued that the government’s decision represented a further step in the radicalisation of the French state against support for Palestinians. They called upon activists to stand together in support of the Palestinian cause.
It comes as many in the UK are calling for police to take a tougher stance, after a pro-Palestinian rally in London over the weekend led to controversy after a protester was recorded chanting “jihad.”
According to Emma Webb, an expert in Islamic extremism, the Metropolitan Police is “gaslighting” the British public after a group of pro-Palestine supporters repeatedly called for “jihad” during a demonstration in central London.
Members of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a “revolutionary Islamist party” according to the Henry Jackson Society, gathered outside the Egyptian embassy near Westminster to call for “jihad” to “liberate” Palestinians.
According to the Counter Extremism Project, Hizb ut-Tahrir is banned in “at least 13 countries”, including Pakistan, Lebanon and Egypt and advocates for a “global caliphate”. The group is not proscribed in the UK.
The Metropolitan Police had suggested that laws might need to be redrawn to address such extremist rhetoric, but Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s meeting with Scotland Yard chief Sir Mark Rowley did not result in the expected push for a “full force of the law” response, as officers found no specific offences in the footage from the demonstration.
Downing Street indicated that there were no immediate plans to change the law, despite concerns raised by ministers about extremist rhetoric at protests. The Met chief, Sir Mark Rowley, defended his force’s approach, stating that they could only enforce the law and not “taste and decency”.
He emphasised that current rules might need reconsideration in light of recent events and the spread of extremist messages through social media.
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In Germany, despite a ban on pro-Palestinian rallies, hundreds of people took to the streets of Berlin on Wednesday evening. The protests resulted in a violent clash between demonstrators and the police.
More than 60 officers were injured, mainly due to stones, flaming liquids, and acts of rebellion, according to the police. However, there is no official information on injuries among the demonstrators. In the aftermath of the protest, 174 people were arrested, with 65 of them now under criminal investigation.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reacted to the violent protests, urging authorities to prevent demonstrations that have the potential to transform into anti-Semitic rallies, emphasising the importance of maintaining public order and ensuring the safety of all citizens.
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