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Shoes thrown at Downing Street

Hasan Suroor

— Photo: AP

Mark of protest: Hundreds of shoes seen on the road along the Whitehall as police guard the entrance to Downing Street in London on Saturday.

LONDON: Shoes were flung at Downing Street on Saturday by angry protesters calling for more active British intervention to bring an end to Israeli bombardment of Gaza.

There were scuffles and angry exchanges as the police tried to control the crowd.

An estimated 10,000 people, including a number of high-profile political figures and celebrities, marched through central London raising slogans against Israeli attacks and carrying placards saying “End the siege of Gaza” and “Freedom for Palestine”.

They also called for a boycott of Israeli goods.

As they walked past the heavily-guarded Downing Street, some started throwing shoes and sandals at the Prime Minister’s residence as a mark of protest against what they described as the British government’s reluctance to condemn Israel.

Later, a rally was held at Trafalgar Square.

The march, part of nationwide protests, was organised by more than 30 groups, including the British Muslim Initiative and the Stop the War Coalition. Among those who took part was prominent Jewish comedian Alexei Sayle. He said Israel’s response to rocket-firing by Hamas was “massively disproportionate” and urged Israel to “stop killing people, stop killing children”.

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