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Police clashed with a large group of thugs in central London on Saturday as officers encircled 100 people and made arrests in a bid to prevent them from confronting a large pro-Palestine march. 

Hundreds of people turned out to central London early on Saturday led by far-right figure Tommy Robinson claiming they wanted to ‘protect the Cenotaph’ before violence broke out and those in attendance rained down missiles on Met Police officers.

The force issued a warning to anyone planning on attacking the pro-Palestine march and pledged to ‘respond robustly to unacceptable aggression and disorder’, as it confirmed four arrests have so far been made.

All the arrests are among the Robinson mob and are for alleged offences including carrying a knife and baton, assaulting a police officer possession of a controlled substance.

The Met Police shared a video on X, formerly Twitter, of officers being attacked by right-wing protesters in Chinatown.

Leading politicians including London Mayor Sadiq Khan blamed the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, for the outbreaks of violence after her controversial comments earlier this week which described today’s gathering in support of Palestinians as a ‘hate march’.

Elsewhere the force said the pro-Palestine march, which is expected to be attended by up to one million people, got off to a peaceful start and that no incidents have so far been reported. 

Councils cancel January 26 ceremonies with PM Anthony Albanese accused of trying to abolish the tradition

The Met Police surrounded a large number of protesters and Tommy Robinson supporters in central London today and made arrests after they missiles and bottles rained down officers

Right-wing protesters clash with police officers near Parliament Square on Saturday

Right-wing protesters clash with police officers near Parliament Square on Saturday

Men hold cans of beer and shout at police officers as they are encircled in order to prevent further violence

Men hold cans of beer and shout at police officers as they are encircled in order to prevent further violence

Tussles broke out as police officers vowed to use all available means to keep right-wing protesters separate from the pro-Palestine march

Tussles broke out as police officers vowed to use all available means to keep right-wing protesters separate from the pro-Palestine march

At least four people have been arrested today as part of the protests

At least four people have been arrested today as part of the protests

Far-right figure Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, and his supporters were heard chanting football-style cheers as they overwhelmed police outside the Met's HQ and flooded onto Whitehall - just minutes before 11am

Far-right figure Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, and his supporters were heard chanting football-style cheers as they overwhelmed police outside the Met’s HQ and flooded onto Whitehall – just minutes before 11am

Several hundred protesters, almost all of them men, were heard chanting and attempting to get close to the Cenotaph

Several hundred protesters, almost all of them men, were heard chanting and attempting to get close to the Cenotaph

Police officers arrest a man on Parliament Square after the two-minute silence for Armistice Day

Police officers arrest a man on Parliament Square after the two-minute silence for Armistice Day

Riot police clash with Tommy Robinson supporters in Chinatown in London

Riot police clash with Tommy Robinson supporters in Chinatown in London

Right-wing protesters scuffle with police in London's Chinatown after the two minutes silence

Right-wing protesters scuffle with police in London’s Chinatown after the two minutes silence

A group of right-wing protesters gather on Whitehall ahead of a large pro Palestine demonstration in Central London

A group of right-wing protesters gather on Whitehall ahead of a large pro Palestine demonstration in Central London

Supporters of Tommy Robinson amass near to the Cenotaph ahead of the two-minute silence

Supporters of Tommy Robinson amass near to the Cenotaph ahead of the two-minute silence

Many of the thugs wore masks and balaclavas to conceal their faces

Many of the thugs wore masks and balaclavas to conceal their faces

Riot police officers walk at The Mall as pro-Palestine activists march through London today

Riot police officers walk at The Mall as pro-Palestine activists march through London today

A man is arrested by police in Whitehall after protests earlier today

A man is arrested by police in Whitehall after protests earlier today

Far-right figure Tommy Robinson arrived in Whitehall early on Saturday morning along with hundreds of right-wing protesters

Far-right figure Tommy Robinson arrived in Whitehall early on Saturday morning along with hundreds of right-wing protesters

Police officers monitor protesters gathering with placards and flags for the 'National March For Palestine' in central London today

Police officers monitor protesters gathering with placards and flags for the ‘National March For Palestine’ in central London today

Mr Khan said: ‘The scenes of disorder we witnessed by the far-right at the Cenotaph are a direct result of the Home Secretary’s words. The police’s job has been made much harder.

‘The Met have my full support to take action against anyone found spreading hate and breaking the law.’

Layla Moran, a Liberal Democrat MP who has family in Gaza, laid blame for any trouble caused by the right-wing mob at the Prime Minister’s door.

She tweeted: ‘As the police in central London work to contain the far-right, and everyone starts to blame Suella Braverman, just remember who chose to not only give her the job but also chose not to sack her.

‘Rishi Sunak is as, if not more, responsible for what happens today’.

Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf said Mrs Braverman had encouraged them with her inflammatory rhetoric.

He tweeted: ‘The far right has been emboldened by the Home Secretary. She has spent her week fanning the flames of division. They are now attacking the police on Armistice Day.

‘The Home Secretary’s position is untenable. She must resign.’

It comes after fights broke out as far-right figure Tommy Robinson and hundreds of his supporters arrived in Whitehall on Saturday as police officers tried to maintain a ring of steel around the Cenotaph ahead of a huge march in solidarity with Palestinians. 

As chants of ‘England till I die’ and ‘Let us through’ echoed close to the war memorial police reinforcements raced to contain the mob as they jostled to be allowed to join the large crowds gathered. 

Dozens broke through a human barrier which appeared to be directly outside Scotland Yard, and police could be seen hitting out at those through with batons, as some of those gathered threw bottles towards officers. 

Far-right figure Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, and his supporters were heard chanting football-style cheers as they overwhelmed police outside the Met’s HQ and flooded onto Whitehall – just minutes before 11am.

Photographs showed protesters unfurled banners reading ‘it’s not Pro-Palestine, it’s anti-British’ during the two-minute silence. No pro-Palestine protesters were anywhere in sight. As it came to a close, protesters chanted ‘England, England’.

Shortly afterwards, the Met Police, which has deployed almost 2,000 officers, released a statement saying it had ‘faced aggression’ from ‘counter-protesters’ and would ‘use all the powers and tactics available to us’ to prevent them from confronting the main pro-Palestine march later.

They added that one of the groups of protesters then headed towards London’s Chinatown, where they ‘confronted and threw missiles at officers who tried to engage with them’.

Video footage showed masked men yelling and swearing at police officers dressed in riot gear as they chanted: ‘You’re not English anymore’.

Police managed to disperse the crowd, splitting them into two smaller groups which were seen running in the direction of Piccadilly Circus. A man was arrested on suspicion of possession of a knife.

A second man has been arrested. He was found in possession of a baton.

Police made at least two arrests close to The Millenium Bridge as the Tommy Robinson supporters dispersed.

The two men were seen in handcuffs surrounded by officers. Four tactical support vans were parked alongside the dozen officers.

After the ceremony ended most of the Robinson supporters headed to nearby pubs close to Trafalgar Square.

Some remained behind to watch a match last by veterans and military cadets.

Police numbers standing behind the barriers were reduced with the two minutes silence having passed off without incident.

Despite claims they would ‘protect’ The Cenotaph from Palestinian activists there was no trouble- apart from scuffles when they scuffled with police before the start of the ceremony.

Police units kept watch over the far right mob to make sure they did not attempt to travel across London to the pro Palestine March headed from Hyde Park to the US Embassy in Battersea.

Shortly before the incident, far-right thug Tommy Robinson left the scene in a taxi after earlier leading hundreds of people as they massed at barriers in Whitehall.

Two police officers detain a man in central London close to the pro-Palestine march following clashes with right-wing demonstrators

Two police officers detain a man in central London close to the pro-Palestine march following clashes with right-wing demonstrators

A police officer struggled with a right-wing protester close to the main pro-Palestine march

A police officer struggled with a right-wing protester close to the main pro-Palestine march

Demonstrators clash with police in Chinatown as tensions flare on Armistice Day

Demonstrators clash with police in Chinatown as tensions flare on Armistice Day

Aerial view showing pro-Palestine protests in Central London today at 12.21pm

Aerial view showing pro-Palestine protests in Central London today at 12.21pm

People march in Hyde Park to support Palestine amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza

People march in Hyde Park to support Palestine amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza

As chants echoed around the area police reinforcements raced to contain the mob as they jostled to be allowed to join the large crowds gathered at The Cenotaph.

Dozens of officers formed a human barrier to stop them entering the exclusion zone set up ahead of the Armistice Day ceremony, but protesters eventually broke through.

The large crowd of people bearing St George’s flags was seen walking along Embankment and shouting ‘England till I die’.

A line of police attempted to stop them from reaching Whitehall but the group pushed through, with some shouting ‘let’s have them’ as officers hit out with batons.

Military veterans appeared displeased and looked on in disgust as hundreds of people taunted police and shouted out ‘we want our country back’. Some of the mob climbed on a statue to Field Marshall Montgomery outside the Ministry of Defence building.

Pictures showed Tommy Robinson speaking with several police officers. Police equipped with riot helmets kept watch on the group who waved Union Jack and cross of St George flags during the two-minute silence.

As a bugler signalled the end of the silence applause followed by chants of ‘England’ erupted from a section of the crowd. This ended as the wreath laying ceremony began.

Before the ceremony had ended many of the far right supporters had left and walked towards Trafalgar Square. Later Veterans spoke of their anger and disgust at their attendance on the solemn occasion.

Former army sergeant James Fillery said: ‘I am glad that they didn’t disrupt the silence. That would have been so disrespectful.

‘I think many of them thought this was some kind of football match with all their chants. I just thought they were idiots, and I doubt they would have had the guts to serve their country.’

A former military policeman, who gave his name as Rick, said: ‘They are not people. I’m here to pay tribute and remember those who sacrificed their life so that they could be here. It is always a very emotional day, and I just want to focus on the act of remembrance.

Meanwhile thousands of people gathered across the city in Hyde Park ahead of this afternoon’s march in solidarity with the people of Palestine. 

Many were carrying Palestinian flags while others clutch placards emblazoned with slogans such as ‘free Palestine’, ‘hands of al Aqsa’, ‘end Israeli apartheid’ and ‘end the siege’ and ‘baby killer Biden stop arming Israel’. 

Tommy Robinson with his supporters in London's Chinatown ahead of a pro-Palestinian protest march

Tommy Robinson with his supporters in London’s Chinatown ahead of a pro-Palestinian protest march

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Dozens of councils will ditch their traditional Australia Day citizenship ceremonies next month, despite Anthony Albanese vowed there would be ‘no changes’ to our national public holiday.

More than 80 councils have removed the popular event from their January 26 festivities, sparking claims from the federal opposition that the Prime Minister is trying to abolish the tradition.

It’s been a year since the Labor government scrapped a rule that forced councils to hold Australia Day citizenship ceremonies.

Mr Albanese assured Aussies at the time that ‘there are no changes here’.

Only four councils, including the City of Sydney opted to boycott the event this year in the wake of the recent rule change.

Council are scrapping formal Australian Day events in favour of more inclusive celebrations. Pictured is an Aussie celebrating our national holiday

Council are scrapping formal Australian Day events in favour of more inclusive celebrations. Pictured is an Aussie celebrating our national holiday

Poll

Should local councils ditch Australia Day citizenship ceremonies?

  • Yes 0 votes
  • No 1 votes
  • Undecided 0 votes
  • Only if the community agrees 0 votes

‘In choosing Australia as their home, these newest citizens are embracing the values and qualities Australians hold dear,’ the prime minister declared at the time.

Fast forward 11 months, 70 councils recently informed the federal government they won’t host citizenship ceremonies next month.

Another 11 councils have since decided to ditch the event.

Of the councils not hosting the event, 22 are from Victoria, NSW has 19, 11, in Western Australia, 10 in Queensland, seven each in South Australia and Tasmania and two in the Northern territory.

Opposition immigration spokesman Dan Tehan accused the Albanese government of undermining Australia Day.

The Coalition plans to re-introduce the rule to force council to hold January 26 citizenship ceremonies if they’re elected to power in 2025.

‘If we aren’t prepared to hold citizenship ceremonies on our national day, what are we prepared to do on our national day,’ Mr Tehan told Nine News.

More than 81 councils won't hold Australia Day citizenship cremonies next month. Pictured is the Prime Minister at a ceremony in Canberra in January

More than 81 councils won’t hold Australia Day citizenship cremonies next month. Pictured is the Prime Minister at a ceremony in Canberra in January

Anthony Albanese (pictured with partner Jodie Haydon) has been accused of undermining Australia Day

Anthony Albanese (pictured with partner Jodie Haydon) has been accused of undermining Australia Day

‘If the Prime Minister wants to change Australia Day, he should be upfront with the Australian people instead of working in the shadows to change the date.’

The furore has sparked councils to stand by their decisions. 

City of Sydney Mayor Clover Moore ditched the event earlier this year due to low turnouts at previous Australia day ceremonies.

She described January 26 as a ‘painful’ day for many and believes the national celebration should not be on ‘Invasion Day’

‘The City of Sydney strongly supports changing the date of Australia’s national day to one that can be fully embraced and celebrated by all Australians,’ Cr Moore told The Sunday Telegraph.

‘Advocating for a change of date won’t resolve the devastating and far-reaching impacts of colonisation but it does provide a platform for an ongoing and honest conversation.’

Yarra City councillor Bridget O’Brien added: ‘It’s very much about respect and it’s also working towards reconciliation in whatever small ways we can.’ 

There are growing calls for the date of Australia Day (revellers pictured) to be changed

There are growing calls for the date of Australia Day (revellers pictured) to be changed



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