Pro-Palestinian protesters have clashed with Met Police after a demonstration in support of people in Gaza came to an end in Trafalgar Square in London this evening.
The force has issued a dispersal order for an area around the square after saying fireworks had been fired into crowds and toward police officers. The order will remain in force until 1am, the Met said.
Footage on social media appeared to show flares being fired at a line of police officers.
It followed a huge protest in central London which was attended by around 30,000 people. It began this morning outside the BBC in Portland Place before a sit-in at Trafalgar Square and then Charing Cross station.
Sit-ins also took place at Oxford Circus and Regent Street.
Met Police statement
At just before 7.20pm, the Met Police posted on X, formerly called Twitter, that it had imposed a dispersal order for the area around Trafalgar Square. It said: “A Section 35 Dispersal Order has been authorised by Superintendent May- Robinson at 1843 hours in order to disperse a group on Trafalgar Square who have been firing fireworks into crowds & towards police officers. The Dispersal Order will remain in place until 0100 hours 5/11/23. “The map below outlines the geographical area where the Section 35 Dispersal Order is in effect.”
Footage shared on social media
Footage appears to show fireworks being fired at officers in Trafalgar Square. The Met Office responded to the post below, stating: “Shortly after this clip was taken, officers cleared Trafalgar Square. A S35 Dispersal Order was put in place, followed by a S60AA authorisation to remove face coverings.”
Hundreds of demonstrators stopped traffic for more than an hour as they staged a sit-in at the corner of Oxford Circus and Regent Street during the shopping district’s busiest hours.
It came ahead of a huge protest in another part of central London which police believe attracted around 30,000 people.
Around 30,000 protesters were in central London while similar marches took place in Sheffield, Manchester and Glasgow
From the scene
Independent reporter Tom Watling is at Trafalgar Square.
He said: “When I arrived I saw a column of riot police pushing back a small group of protesters on the edge of the square near Charing Cross station. There were fireworks going off into the air from the area.
“Most of the protesters have now left apart from a handful who appear to be jeering at police officers while legal observers stand by.
“There were around 24 police vans in the area, most have now gone. I also saw three people get arrested.”
A total of 29 arrests, and four officers injured
A total of 29 people were arrested for inciting racial hatred, other racially motivated crimes, violence and assaulting a police officer.