Pro-Palestinian protesters target Zara stores and bring Oxford Street to a standstill

From The Daily Mail and The Telegraph

Pro-Palestinian protesters have targeted Zara stores on Oxford Street, bringing London’s most famous shopping district to a standstill on one of its busiest days of the year.

Up to a thousand demonstrators marched on Oxford Street, Regent Street and Carnaby Street, this afternoon chanting ‘while you’re shopping, bombs are dropping’.

Protesters, who urged Christmas shoppers to boycott ‘Israeli-linked’ brands, stopped outside two Zara stores, both of which had closed and were guarded by security. Some chanted: ‘Zara, Zara, you can’t hide, stop supporting genocide’.

Earlier this month, Zara pulled an promotional campaign following complaints that it contained pictures resembling images from the Israel-Hamas war.

Demonstrators were also pictured holding Palestinian flags and banners in front of Puma, a company which has long faced boycott calls over its brand alliance with the Israel Football Association.

The Brighton and Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign shared that more than 1,000 people had turned out to march from Soho Square towards Oxford Circus, adding that the famous retail street was ‘now completely blocked’ a little after 1pm GMT.

There were chants of “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” – interpreted by some as a call for the destruction of the state of Israel – and “stop bombing children” as the crowd of around 500 made its way past bemused shoppers busy finding the last of their Christmas gifts.

Police maintained a low-key presence, with only a handful of officers visible as the march repeatedly came to a halt, before resuming its slow progress past Oxford Street’s busy shops.

Organisers of the march, called by the feminist group Sisters Uncut, kept one lane of the street open, but the weight of numbers meant traffic had to be diverted.

Stores on Oxford have now reopened after the protest moved on.

A British Retail Consortium spokesman said: “Any disruptions to customers trying to do their shopping is regrettable.  Retailers ensure all products in-store and online are clearly labelled with country of origin so customers can make their own informed choice about what they would like to buy.”

I used a photograph from The Telegraph because the chap with the public address system and body camera caught my eye. Clock the Batman mask and Palestinan flag combo. Now there may be two pro-Palestinian supporters within reach of London sites, both with a Bruce Wayne fetish, but I think it is unlikely. In which case he was also outside Barclay Primary School in Leyton on Thursday, spouting his stuff and trying to intimidate the teachers. 


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