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Remembrance Day outrage as extremists clash and vandalise war memorials

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Remembrance Day, a solemn occasion to honour the sacrifices of the war dead, was disrupted by violent clashes and vandalism in London on Saturday.

According to a report by Express, Thousands of protesters from both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict took to the streets, ignoring the Prime Minister’s plea to respect the Armistice Day events

The most disturbing scenes occurred near the Cenotaph in Whitehall, where right-wing extremists and hooligans confronted the anti-Israel marchers, who were protesting against the Israeli military action in Gaza. Police said that more than 90 counter-protesters were arrested for offences such as public order, assault and possession of offensive weapons. They also said that the right-wing group was “intent on confrontation and violence” with the main Palestinian march¹.

The Cenotaph, a sacred monument to commemorate the fallen soldiers, was also trespassed by some protesters, who climbed over the war memorials and planted Palestinian flags.

Anti-Semitic placards and slogans were also displayed by some of the anti-Israel demonstrators. The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, condemned the “violent, wholly unacceptable” actions of both groups, saying that they “utterly disrespected” the honour of the armed forces.

The Prime Minister also expressed his concern for the Jewish community, who have experienced “fear and intimidation” over the weekend. He said that all criminality must be met with the “full and swift force of the law” and that he would be meeting the Met Police Commissioner in the coming days¹.

The Remembrance Day ceremony, which usually involves a parade of veterans and dignitaries, was scaled down this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many people still gathered at the Cenotaph and other locations across the country to observe the two-minute silence at 11 am, as a sign of respect and gratitude for those who gave their lives for the nation. Unfortunately, the silence was broken by the sounds of sirens and shouting from the nearby protests.

Some of the attendees at the Cenotaph expressed their anger and disappointment at the disruption of the Remembrance Day. One of them, a veteran who served in Afghanistan, said: “It’s disgraceful.

This is a day to remember the heroes who fought for our freedom, not to fight over politics and religion. They should have stayed away from here and let us pay our respects in peace.”¹

Another attendee, a woman whose grandfather died in the Second World War, said: “I’m appalled by what I saw today. How can they be so disrespectful and insensitive to the sacrifices of our war dead? They have no idea what they went through. They should be ashamed of themselves.

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Birminghamgist Staff is a News Reporter, making waves in the UK with insightful and Engaging reporting.

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