"She is promoting division at the most sensitive of moments."
On each of the last three Saturdays, hundreds of thousands of people have marched through London to call for a ceasefire in Gaza. These demonstrations have been the biggest the UK has seen since the campaign to stop the Iraq War in 2003.
The home secretary Suella Braverman has responded in characteristic form. She has branded the demonstrations in solidarity with the Palestinian people ‘hate marches’.
Braverman said in a broadcast interview earlier this week: “We’ve seen now tens of thousands of people take to the streets following the massacre of Jewish people – the single largest loss of Jewish life since the holocaust – chanting for the erasure of Israel from the map. To my mind there’s only one way to describe those marches – they are hate marches.”
Braverman has since been heavily criticised for describing protests calling for a ceasefire as ‘hate marches’.
Interim director of Liberty, Akiko Hart, said Braverman’s comments constitute “inflammatory and dangerous rhetoric”.
Labour MP Afzal Khan said Braverman’s remarks were ‘disingenuous’ and ‘dangerous’. He tweeted: “Hundreds of thousands of people have been protesting against the indiscriminate killing of thousands of innocent Palestinians. Braverman labelling these as “hate marches” is disingenuous, dangerous and deeply contradictory to the right we all hold to protest.”
The Green Party of England and Wales’ global solidarity spokesperson Carne Ross described her comments as ‘deeply disturbing’. He said: “This is deeply disturbing. It is a dangerous lie to call solidarity protests “hate marches”. She is promoting division at the most sensitive of moments. Her instincts are repressive – and she has the power to repress.”
Chris Jarvis is head of strategy and development at Left Foot Forward
Image credit: Home Office – Creative Commons