Ambulances on the scene: How the Notts protest in support of Palestinians went down
Around 500 people attended the protest
People gathered in protest in Old Market Square today, showing support and solidarity for Palestinians.
The protest, organised by the Nottingham Palestine Solidarity Campaign, lasted for around four hours and attracted roughly 500 people despite the rain.
Tensions between Israelis and Palestinian people stem back decades, and recent conflict was triggered due to an on-going dispute regarding Sheikh Jarrah, an area of East Jerusalem. Casualties have been reported on both sides due to rocket attacks from the militant group Hamas in Gaza and Israeli armed forces in retaliation, with the death toll now at a reported 139.
The protest formed outside the Council House at 12 noon, with a number of signs being put on display. Chants of “Free Palestine” roared throughout the square whilst large Palestinian flags were waved about as, one by one, speakers approached the microphone and voiced their concerns about the current conflict happening in the Middle-East.
Around thirty minutes into today’s protest, a man was seen climbing up scaffolding around Clarks in Market Square. Onlookers recorded the man as he made it to the top and erected a Palestinian flag, before making it safely back down the ground. A police officer at the scene told The Tab Notts the man would not face any charges.
At around 2.15pm, the stationary protest became a march. A police officer said that the march was not planned and was a “spontaneous” decision by the protestors.
People began walking past Nottingham Tourism Centre through to Hockley and the group paused outside the BBC studios on London Road. Here, protestors chanted, “BBC, shame on you” and “BBC, tell the truth” as cars drove past, with some drivers honking their horns to show solidarity with the protestors.
However, it was on the march back towards the city centre across when the crowd suddenly came to a halt on Lower Parliament Street. A young, male protestor began saying that somebody had been hit by a car and multiple ambulances were soon on the scene.
One left with a protestor inside but it is not known what condition they are in. The Tab Notts approached a police officer on the scene for further information but they stated they were “not allowed” to disclose what had happened.
Despite the incident having occurred, the march continued and culminated outside Marks & Spencer on Exchange Walk, where protestors began throwing water bottles at the store. Police and security guards stood outside the doors, successfully stopping protestors from entering the building. Outside Marks & Spencer, akin to outside the BBC building, protestors began again chanting, “shame on you”.
Things became calmer after this with protestors playing Palestinian music outside Marks & Spencer, cheering and dancing to it. At around 4pm, all protestors disbanded.
During the afternoon, a woman claimed an officer had grabbed hold of her hijab and pulled it from her head. She and the officer in question discussed the accusation, which the office denied, before the woman left the scene.