Pro-Palestine activist sparks outrage after climbing London war memorial - and police say there's nothing they can do

Pro-Palestine activist sparks outrage after climbing London war memorial - and police say there's nothing they can do
Pro-Palestinian Protesters climb the Royal Artillery Memorial
GB News
Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop


Published: 16/11/2023

- 07:45

Updated: 16/11/2023

- 08:14

The Metropolitan Police said the protestor did not break any laws

The Metropolitan Police said no laws were broken after a pro-Palestinian activist climbed on top of a war memorial in London.

Last night, a man climbed to the top of the Royal Artillery Memorial, whilst being cheered on by the crowds.


Videos surfaced online of the protestor, who can be seen standing on top of the memorial whilst waving a Palestinian flag.

The footage sparked outrage, but further shock was caused when the Met released a statement saying that the climber had not breached the law.

A man climbed to the top of the Royal Artillery MemorialA man climbed to the top of the Royal Artillery MemorialStuart Mitchell / @IncMonocle

The statement said: “We know some online have asked why the protesters were not arrested.

“There is no law explicitly making it illegal to climb on a memorial so officers cannot automatically arrest, but they can intervene and make it clear the behaviour isn't acceptable.

“The videos shared online show them doing that.”

The man who ascended the memorial in Hyde Park was part of a smaller breakaway group of protestors.

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The protestor stood on top of the memorial whilst waving a Palestinian flag

The protestor stood on top of the memorial whilst waving a Palestinian flag

Stuart Mitchell / @IncMonocle

As he climbed down from the memorial, fellow demonstrators can be heard telling him to “cover his face” – supposedly a warning that he may have done something wrong that could warrant arrest.

The police continued: “Most people would agree that to climb on or otherwise disrespect a war memorial is unacceptable. That is why our officers have made every effort to prevent it happening in recent days.

“This evening, a breakaway group of pro-Palestinian protestors were dispersed at Hyde Park Corner and a number of them climbed on the Royal Artillery Memorial. While officers were on scene quickly, we regret they were not there quickly enough to prevent the protestors accessing the memorial.”

A dispersal order was out in place across Westminster from 7.50pm on Wednesday and ended at 2am this morning.

Police tackle protests on SaturdayOver 100 people were arrested on Armistice DayGetty Images

One arrest was made for possession of an offensive weapon.

The protest in Westminster comes just days after 300,000 pro-Palestinian supporters gathered on armistice day to march through the streets of London.

Members of pro-right groups also took to the streets to counter-protest.

Police said 145 people were arrested. Most of those people were from far-right groups.

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