In the run-up to the ‘Ceasefire Now’ demonstration in London on 11 November, prime minister Rishi Sunak condemned it as ‘provocative and disrespectful’ and warned that the march could ‘desecrate’ the Cenotaph, the national war memorial near Downing Street. The then home secretary Suella Braverman joined in, saying: ‘It is entirely unacceptable to desecrate Armistice Day with a hate march through London.’
The main organisers of the protest, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which had already made clear that the march would avoid the area where the Cenotaph is located, described these comments as ‘deeply irresponsible’, stirring up far right activists. (On the day, police arrested 82 far right counter-protesters; a mob of them – but no pro-Palestinian demonstrators – tried to storm the Cenotaph.)
‘Ceasefire Now’ demonstrators pointed out that the purpose of the march was to remember the dead and to call for an end to the fighting, for an armistice.