The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on Tuesday strongly urged the organisers of a pro-Palestine march, dubbed the Million Man March, to consider postponing the event, as it coincides with Armistice Day. 
Deputy Assistant Commissioner at the MPS, Ade Adelekan, said,
“The risk of violence and disorder linked to breakaway groups is growing. This is of concern ahead of a significant and busy weekend in the capital.
“Our message to organisers is clear — please, we ask you to urgently reconsider. It is not appropriate to hold any protests in London this weekend.” 
The plea came after the force said it was considering banning the demonstration altogether, following intense pressure from the Home Office.
An affront to the British public?
On Monday, Home Secretary Suella Braverman convened crucial talks prompted by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s statement which asserted that demonstrations on Armistice Day would be perceived as an affront to the British public.
Despite Sunak’s statements, organisers have vowed to conduct their protest away from Whitehall and the Cenotaph, and they are currently in discussions with the Metropolitan Police to finalise their plans.
The police, however, remain resolute in their stance and have vowed to use all resources necessary to prevent disorder.
Government desperate to misrepresent Palestinian cause
The government has increasingly taken an aggressive stance against normative and legal expressions of Palestinian solidarity.
Since 7 October, Braverman has pressured police forces to crackdown on pro-Palestine marches and, through her vague use of language, is pushing for the criminalisation of pro-Palestine symbols, such as the flag, badges, and chants.
Downing Street’s response to the overwhelming show of public support to the Palestinian people is mirrored across Europe, where a number of EU states have taken stringent stances against pro-Palestinian demonstrations.
In France, a ban on pro-Palestine protests was imposed before it was overturned by the Supreme Court.
In Germany, the use of the Keffiyeh in schools has been banned, as has the waving of the Palestinian flag in protests.
Attempts to disrupt freedom of expression and assembly
In response, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), the organisers of the protest, issued a statement last week explicitly stating that they have no intention of marching near Whitehall or the Cenotaph, in a deliberate effort to avoid disrupting Remembrance Day commemorations. 
Expressing deep concern, the PSC denounced members of the government, including the Prime Minister, for issuing statements insinuating that the march represents a direct threat to the Cenotaph and is designed to disrupt the solemn Remembrance Day commemorations. 
In a statement issued by the PSC, organisers have said,
“Those mounting pressures are the same voices actively resisting the call for a ceasefire despite overwhelming public support for that call.
“The idea that it is acceptable for Israel to keep bombing and killing Palestinians in Gaza including over 4,000 children, but not for people to protest peacefully against these crimes, is grotesque.
“We will be holding a protest on Saturday, and we invite all people of conscience to join us in peacefully marching, as planned, from Hyde Park to the US Embassy.
“Despite their statement, we will continue to engage with the Police to ensure public safety on this protest.” 
Police chiefs possess the authority to request a banning order from the Home Secretary, if they deem that a protest poses a substantial risk of public disorder.
However, the Metropolitan Police has thus far resisted calls to take such action, and they have not yet provided clarity on their intentions regarding the use of powers under Section 13 of the Public Order Act 1986.
Armistice Day, also known as Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth, commemorates the historic signing of armistice between the Allied and Central Powers during the First World War.
Therefore, anyone with some semblance of morality would recognise that a pro-Palestine march that happens to fall on this day would be even more fitting, as the organisers would surely be calling for lasting peace.
Can we not call for an armistice? Can we not call for more than an armistice, but a lasting solution — one where the Palestinians are given back all of their land, and one where Jews, Muslims, and Christians are all able to live under a reunified Palestine?
Certainly, some will argue that law enforcement bodies have every right to pressure organisers of demonstrations to postpone, cancel, or make other reasonable adjustments when there is a high risk of public disorder, but the broader point surely lies with who is tightening the screws on Sir Mark Rowley, and where will such pressure ultimately lead.
Specifically in regards to Saturday's planned demonstration, this is being billed as the culmination of week after week of hugely successful turnouts, with hundreds of thousands already having gathered in solidarity for the Palestinian cause. And organisers have been categorical from the start, the route will not go anywhere near the Cenotaph — which must not be desecrated — or cross paths with other peaceful events marking Armistice Day.
So how have pockets of the public been led to believe that this march will be anything but a source of comfort and reassurance for the broader emotions being felt by Britain as it remembers its fallen and wounded during World War One and the marking of peace between warring nations 105 years ago?
It has been troubling to see that, in the past few weeks, the government has been steadily ramping up the rhetoric, with the Home Secretary dangerously continuing to describe protests that call for peace in Palestine as 'hate marches'. And the real tragedy being witnessed before our very eyes is extreme elements of society that are hearing such language — be that on radio shows or in the papers — and, in effect, being riled up.
It would appear that the conditions for an inferno are being put in place as we speak. This cannot be how government protects freedom of expression in the UK.
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