City police received reports of 554 antisemitic offences between Oct 1 and Nov 1.
LONDON: Thousands of demonstrators against antisemitism marched in London today to protest against a rise in hate crimes against Jews since the attack by Hamas on Israel in October and Israel’s subsequent bombardment of Gaza.
Protestors carried placards with the message “Shoulder to shoulder with British Jews” and “Zero tolerance for anti-Semites.” Others showed the faces of Israeli hostages held by Palestinian group Hamas.
Some people sang in Hebrew while others chanted “Bring them home” in reference to the hostages.
London’s Metropolitan Police received reports of 554 antisemitic offences between Oct 1 and Nov 1, up from 44 a year earlier, a more than 10-fold increase. Reports of Islamophobic offences almost tripled to 220 during the same period.
Police arrested a far-right activist, Tommy Robinson, at the start of the march after he refused to leave the area at the request of police officers.
Organisers of the demonstration had asked Robinson not to attend because of the distress his presence was likely to cause.
Today’s march took place a day after a latest demonstration in the British capital by pro-Palestinian protestors calling for a permanent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.
Police estimated 45,000 people marched in the demonstration on Saturday. They did not immediately have an estimate for the size of today’s march.