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Tens of Thousands March Against Antisemitism in London

Women hold images of hostages held in Gaza, during a march against antisemitism, in London, Nov. 26, 2023.
Women hold images of hostages held in Gaza, during a march against antisemitism, in London, Nov. 26, 2023.

Ten of thousands of people participated in a march against antisemitism in London on Sunday protesting a rise in hate crimes against Jews since the October 7 attack by Hamas militants on Israel and Israel's subsequent bombardment of Gaza.

Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was among the estimated 60,000 demonstrators in the first march of its kind since the Israel-Hamas war began and the largest gathering against antisemitism in London for decades according to organizers. Johnson marched along the U.K.'s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and other senior government officials.

Protestors carried placards with the message "Shoulder to shoulder with British Jews" "Never Again Is Now," and "Zero tolerance for anti-Semites." Others showed the faces of Israeli hostages held by Palestinian militant group Hamas in a show of solidarity with the Jewish communities which have recently suffered a spate of hate crimes, especially in the nation’s capital.

Some people sang in Hebrew while others chanted "Bring them home" in reference to the hostages held by Hamas, which been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S., United Kingdom, the European Union and others.

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 Sunday's march after he refused to leave the area at the request of police officers.

Organizers of the demonstration had asked Robinson not to attend because of the distress his presence was likely to cause.

Sunday's march took place a day after a latest demonstration in the British capital by pro-Palestinian protestors calling for a permanent cease-fire in the Gaza Strip.

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.

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