Pro-Palestine march on Armistice Day an opportunity for terrorism to grow says security expert

Pro-Palestine march on Armistice Day an opportunity for terrorism to grow says security expert
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 08/11/2023

- 11:28

Updated: 08/11/2023

- 11:38

A former senior intelligence and security officer with the British Army has said the pro-Palestine marches should not go ahead this weekend because the organisers cannot guarantee that it will be a peaceful protest.

Speaking to GB News, Col Philip Ingram said: “We did fight for the freedoms of this country, but also people must respect that there's a need for a little bit of decorum. You will not find people going and protesting if they disagree outside synagogues, outside churches at Christmas or outside mosques if they disagree with what’s going on.

“I think the Metropolitan Police were quite mature in asking the organisers just to postpone it, not to cancel it. And we've already started to see where extreme elements of those that are latching on to the perfectly legitimate and peaceful protests are carrying out acts of vandalism or violent acts.

“We saw the attacking of a poppy seller in Waverley station in Edinburgh last night, we saw the daubing of pro-Palestinian graffiti on Memorial in Rochdale and the police are now having to guard that.

“We've had statements in the Daily Mail that football thugs are going to try and protect the Cenotaph in London.

“All that's going to do is stir things up. Those that are coming to the pro Palestine March are coming through the same railway stations as the veterans who will be in their medals and wearing their berets and getting ready for Armistice Day on Saturday, on for Remembrance Sunday.

“That is going to be a point of real friction. If the marchers the pro Palestine marches respected the fact that they've been given the freedom to march because people have sacrificed their lives and they put that respect back, I think they would hold a much better place and people's hearts.”

Col Ingram said that the right to protest was a British value “until it gets to the point where you identify a potential growing threat.”

"As it’s Armistice weekend and because it's remembrance weekend, you've got so many friction points.

“We've seen extreme elements trying to hijack elements of the march with pro Hamas cries, with pro Hamas symbology, therefore, countering the Terrorism Act.

“This is too good an opportunity for that not to grow and for potentially terrorism to grow out of it.

“We have to recognise that the police are there to keep the public safe first and foremost and if they feel that the march going ahead is going to make the public less safe it’s within their rights to ban it and I think we're on that cusp point at the moment.

“The organisers can't control everyone that's there and we've seen that in all the marches that there have been to date and therefore, we can't guarantee it's going to be peaceful on Saturday and Sunday.

“If the organisers can't guarantee that, if they wanted to show some decorum to the country, and to get some respect for the legitimate peaceful marches on behalf of the Palestinian people, they will then cancel it this weekend and say, ‘No, we're going to recognise the fact that we've got the freedom to march in our country because these people have laid on their lives for us to be allowed to do that.’”


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