Jewish campaign group led by Gideon Falter cancels London march over safety concerns

LONDON: The organizers of a march in protest against antisemitism, planned for Saturday in London, “reluctantly” announced on Friday that they were canceling the demonstration.

The Campaign Against Antisemitism said it was forced by safety concerns to call off its “Walk Together” march, which was scheduled to coincide with the latest in a series of pro-Palestine marches in the British capital. The organization said it had expected thousands of people to take part but threats from “hostile actors” posed a safety risk.

“We have received numerous threats and our monitoring has identified hostile actors who seem to have intended to come to any meeting locations that we announced,” the CAA said.

“The risk to the safety of those who wished to walk openly as Jews in London tomorrow as part of this initiative has therefore become too great.

“We are no less angry about these marches than our Jewish community and its allies. We want to walk.”

The group added that it wants the Metropolitan Police not only to “manage marches” but “police” them.

Last weekend, a video that circulated on social media sparked controversy as it showed a confrontation between the CAA’s chief executive, Gideon Falter, and a Metropolitan Police officer who appeared to be preventing him from crossing the road in the vicinity of a pro-Palestine march in London because he was “openly Jewish” and his presence was “antagonizing.”

Falter, who was threatened with arrest if he did not leave the area, criticized the police for their actions during the incident and claimed there were now “no-go zones for Jews” in London amid a rise in antisemitic sentiment arising from Israel’s war on Gaza following the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas.

Police chiefs apologized twice for the officer’s choice of words. However, a former senior police officer said on Monday that the initial, short version of the video most people saw online “did not fully represent the situation.”

A longer version showed the officer expressing concern about Falter’s actions because he appeared to be deliberately attempting to provoke the pro-Palestinian demonstrators.

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