UK man arrested after pro-Palestine protest 'abuse' video

UK man arrested after pro-Palestine protest 'abuse' video
A man has been arrested after footage of him shouting obscenities and abuse at two Muslim women protesting for Palestine went viral.
2 min read
23 April, 2024
Pro-Palestine protesters in the UK have been the target of vilification by right-wing politicians and media [Getty file image]

A man has been arrested after footage emerged of a women leaving a pro-Palestine protest in the London suburb of Romford being racially abused last Saturday went viral.

Police said a 55-year-old man was charged with religiously aggravated intentional harassment after they launched an "urgent investigation" into the video.

In the footage, a white man in glasses can be seen following three women, two of whom are visibly Muslim and wearing keffiyehs in solidarity with Palestinians, through a busy shopping area in Romford.

He shouts insults and abuse at them including, "You Muslim f***ing c***s, you f***Muslim s***s."

After one woman tries to stop him, he says: "Firing Katyusha rockets into Israel every f***ing day of the week, you think that’s normal? We don’t want you here."

The man then continues his abuse, saying: "F*** off back to Muslim [sic]… we are a Christian country."

It happened after the women left a small pro-Palestine demonstration outside a Barclays bank branch in Romford.

Fifty-five-year-old Vaseem Ahmed, another pro-Palestine protester, told The Independent: "I know those women from other demonstrations. I was shocked by the way it happened, but then not shocked at the same time. Islamophobic attacks have skyrocketed since October 7."

"I didn’t see anyone intervene. They might have been concerned for their safety, but all you have to do is shout a few times; you don’t have to put yourself in danger. I don’t understand why people stand by and let it happen," he added.

A spokesperson for London’s Metropolitan Police said: "The Met has been clear that there is no place for hate in London."

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"Any incidents flagged to police will be assessed and investigated thoroughly," they added.

Pro-Palestine protesters in the UK have often been the target of right-wing media and politicians.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has come under criticism for refusing to call out Islamophobia and suggesting that "extremists" had infiltrated pro-Palestine protests while former Home Secretary Suella Braverman labelled them "hate marches".

The UK has seen frequent pro-Palestine protests ever since Israel began its indiscriminate war on Gaza last October, which has so far killed over 34,000 Palestinians - mostly women and children.