Ahad, Januari 11, 2009

Protesters clash with police as 100,000 strong London Gaza demo descends into violence


Burning bush: A placard bearing a portrait of U.S. President George Bush is set alight. There were reports of rioters trying to set police vans alight




Violent clashes occurred between police and around 20,000 protesters outside the Israeli Embassy in London - with an estimated 100,000 protesters airing their views around the city.

Windows were smashed and policemen were injured - with one officer knocked unconscious in the running battles and two requiring treatment for facial injuries.

The protesters - mainly young men - knocked down barriers threw missiles including eggs, red paint, sticks and shoes as 300 officers in full riot gear tried to maintain the peace.

Police try and hold back the protesters outside the Israeli embassy, Kensington, as thousands show their anger at the worsening situation in Gaza

Barriers are broken down as the protest turns ugly, with at least one police officer hospitalised by the riots

Clean-up in Kensington: Demonstrations and vigils have been held all week, reaching a crescendo of 100,000 on Saturday
There were reports that some protesters had tried to set fire to police vans.

The violence, which broke out in front of the Israeli Embassy, appeared to be led by a hard-core of masked and hooded youths.

A national demonstration against Israel's attack marched from Speakers' Corner at Hyde Park today to the Israeli embassy in High Street Kensington.

It was estimated there were around 100,000 protesters in total across London, including the Trafalgar Square, Hyde Park and Kensington protests.

Attacked: Protestors go for horse-backed officers in Kensington

A protester pushes down barriers as police try to maintain calm amid missile-throwing and window-smashing

Demonstrators let off fireworks outside the Israeli Embassy in London as they call for the fighting in the Gaza region to stop

There was a heavy police presence lining the route taken by the protesters.

Chanting 'free, free Palestine', the crowd was led through the streets of London by a vocal group of largely young men.

A Starbucks coffee shop in the area was stripped of chairs and had its front windows smashed, and protestors also removed fittings from the shop.

Residents living in flats above watched the scenes from their windows, and many people pleaded with police to let them out of the cordon.

At one point, the protesters were seen to throw shoes at mounted police posted in the Notting Hill area.

The march ground to a halt outside the Israeli embassy as tens of thousands of people surged past carrying placards.

At a number of points, officers asked some of the noisier and more enthusiastic protesters to 'calm down'.

There was pushing and shoving between protesters and police in riot gear outside the embassy building.

Demonstrators chanted noisily and tossed shoes over the heads of the police ranks towards the embassy.

Hyde Park was also the center of protests, with thousands calling for an end to conflict in Gaza

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