Five arrested at King’s Cross in London after pro-Palestinian sit-in banned | Israel-Hamas war
Five people have been arrested during a pro-Palestinian sit-in at King’s Cross station in London after the demonstration was banned.
The transport secretary, Mark Harper, said he had given an order to allow police to stop the demonstration on Friday evening under section 14a of the Public Order Act 1986. It was later announced that protesters would also be prevented from gathering outside the Israeli embassy in London over the weekend.
On Friday evening, scores of people could still be seen outside King’s Cross station on social media. One video posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, appears to show a man draped in a Palestinian flag shouting “free, free Palestine” while being carried away from the station by three officers.
Others appear to show the controversial slogan “from the river to the sea” being shouted with demonstrators replying “Palestine will be free”.
In videos, protesters can be seen sitting on the station concourse chanting “ceasefire now”, “free, free Palestine” and “in our thousands, in our millions, we are all Palestinians”.
A banner accusing Israel of genocide can also be seen in some clips.
British Transport Police (BTP) said its officers told protesters about the Public Order Act notice and advised them to leave.
Five people were later arrested for failing to comply with the notice, the force said.
Most protesters left “without incident” by 7.15pm, the force added, and some then joined a demonstration outside the station.
Earlier, Harper said: “While the right to peaceful protest is a key part of our democratic society, it cannot be at the expense of other people’s right not to be seriously disrupted or intimidated.
“That’s why I have granted consent for the British Transport police to make an order under section 14a of the Public Order Act 1986 prohibiting the planned protest at King’s Cross station this evening.
“This means protest activity at the station is classified as unlawful and anyone taking part will be subject to arrest.
“Officers must have the powers they need for our stations to remain safe places for people to go about their journeys, protecting public safety and preventing disorder.”
BTP said: “The demonstration inside the station has ended. Passengers can access the station as normal and trains are not disrupted.”
Meanwhile pro-Palestine protesters will be prevented from gathering outside the Israeli embassy over the weekend, police have said.
The Metropolitan police said they had imposed a condition under section 14 of the Public Order Act to prevent demonstrators gathering near the country’s embassy in Kensington, west London.