Pro-Palestinian demonstrators removed from Waterloo station after sit-in protest

Around 100 pro-Palestinian demonstrators have been removed from London’s Waterloo station after holding a sit-in protest demanding a ceasefire in Gaza.

The group chanted: “Free, free Palestine”; “Sit down, join us”; and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” as they protested in the centre of the station.

Police officers surrounded the protesters before they were escorted from the station, with at least two demonstrators carried from the scene.

The British Transport Police (BTP) said at least five protesters were arrested at Waterloo station and no train services were affected.

A group of protesters who were removed from the station then made their way to Westminster Bridge where they sat in the road before moving to Parliament Square, the Metropolitan Police said.

The force said on X, formerly Twitter: “We believe the group in Parliament Square is a mix of pro-Palestinian protesters and JSO activists.

“We have arrested a prominent JSO activist from within the group. We have a significant number of officers ready to respond if there is further disruption in the road.”

Israel-Hamas conflict
Police officers line up on the concourse after pro-Palestinian protesters took part in a sit-in demonstration at London’s Waterloo Station calling for a ceasefire in Gaza (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

It comes as protesters held sit-in protests at major UK train stations despite increased policing across railway networks.

The BTP deployed enhanced officer patrols in England, Scotland and Wales on Saturday.

Footage shared on social media showed a small crowd sitting on the floor in Manchester Victoria Station, while the force confirmed another group of around 25 had done the same at Leeds station shortly after 2pm.

BTP issued Section 14a orders prohibiting protests on Saturday at many of London’s main rail stations from 10am to 11pm, but shortly after 2.30pm the force posted on X that a group of approximately 200 protesters had arrived at London Bridge station in the English capital.

A police cordon was also put in place around London Bridge, but five minutes later they posted again to say the group had left the area and passengers could access the station as usual.