Violence broke out between police and far-right extremists near the Cenotaph War Memorial in central London.

Counter-protesters gathered in the area ahead of a pro-Palestine demonstration on Armistice Day. It was expected to be one of the largest political marches in UK history.

Far-right thugs were seen chanting “England till I die” and waving St George’s flags near Embankment shortly after 10am. Police attempted and failed to prevent the crowds from reaching Whitehall.

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Despite the protests the service at the Cenotaph continued without issue
Despite the protests the service at the Cenotaph continued without issue

Clashes broke out and people could be heard shouting “let’s have them” as the officers struck with their batons. Many of the demonstrators covered their faces in masks as they hurled bottles at the police, shouting ‘forward’ as they pushed through police.

Despite the demonstration, an Armistice Day service took place at 11 am without issue and a two-minute silence was observed. The service is to mark the end of the First World War.

Meanwhile, hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters congregated at Hyde Park for a march around central London. They set off around noon clutching placards emblazoned with slogans such as "free Palestine", "hands of al Aqsa", "end Israeli apartheid", "end the siege" and "baby killer Biden stop arming Israel".

Arrests were made following the two minutes silence at the Cenotaph War memorial
Arrests were made following the two-minute silence at the Cenotaph War memorial

The march is calling for a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel. More than 500,000 people are believed to have joined the march. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has issued a plea for "unity" amid tensions over the march on the day the UK marks the end of the First World War.

There are fears that the demonstrations may lead to counter-protests, especially around the Cenotaph. Far right activist Robinson called for the public to "protect" the Cenotaph on Saturday as the nation marks the important day, despite planned protests being nowhere near the monument.

He previously said: "British men are mobilising for Saturday to be in London" to "show our Government and show our police and show Hamas and everyone sitting around the world saying ‘Britain has fallen’ that there is a resistance." He earlier posted a video on social media and said: "Why I'll be in London this weekend and why you should too! #Cenotaph #NeverAgain".

At the end of the six-minute clip, he added: "I'm going to be there reporting, for you, as a journalist to show what's going on that day, to document what they've allowed to happen over the last three weeks."

Right-wing group, Democratic Football Lads Alliance, also issued a call to arms on social media this week. A post on the group’s Facebook page says: "Vets have reached out and asked for our support due to the threat from the far-left and pro-Palestinian supporters to disrupt the Remembrance Day parade.

“We are calling on all football lads up and down the country to join us in standing shoulder to shoulder with our veterans that fought for our freedom." Videos have emerged on Twitter of Robinson and a large crowd storming through London as members of the public urged each other to "stay safe" after spotting the far-right extremist.

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One witness said: "Police have lost control. Far right thugs are swarming around Whitehall, climbing up on fencing and bollards. Sixteen minutes to 11am on Armistice Day. Absolute disgrace. Tommy Robinson supporters are climbing over fences and police appear to be losing control. We are approaching 11am on Armistice Day and the far right is causing trouble."

Scotland Yard will deploy nearly 2,000 officers across central London in a major policing operation over the weekend. The officer in charge of policing London during Saturday's protest told the PA news agency that the force has been "clear" on how it polices protests.

Since October 7, more than 160 people have been arrested for a range of offences, including racially motivated public offences, violence and assaulting police officers relating to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said: "Our job is to ensure that we police without fear or favour, that we balance the rights of everybody, be that protesters, counter-protesters, or people living or coming into London. And our job this weekend is to ensure that people are kept safe, and that is what my focus is on."

The Cenotaph will also have a dedicated 24-hour police presence which will remain in place until the conclusion of Remembrance events tomorrow (Sunday, November 12).

The Metropolitan Police have been contacted for comment.

They tweeted: "Two arrests have been made so far; one for assaulting a police officer and a second for possession of a controlled substance. The officer is being looked after by colleagues and both suspects are on route to custody at this time."

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