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A pro-Palestine protest in front of the house of the British opposition leader

A pro-Palestine protest in front of the house of the British opposition leader

Police have arrested three people following a pro-Palestinian protest outside British opposition leader Keir Starmer's private home in London. Activists from the Youth Demand Group called on the leader of the Social Democratic Labor Party to end British arms exports to Israel with a banner reading “Starmer, stop the killing”. With children's shoes, they pointed to children killed in the Gaza Strip, where an Israeli military operation against Islamist Hamas has been ongoing since October.

Labor has a clear lead in opinion polls over Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's ruling Conservative Party. The head of government criticized the protest. “I don't care what your politics are, no MP should be harassed in their own home,” wrote Sunak X (formerly on Twitter). “We cannot and will not tolerate it.” Home Secretary James wisely said the move was unacceptable.

There have been several protests at the homes of prominent politicians in Great Britain recently. In the summer of 2023, Greenpeace activists climbed onto the roof of Sunak's private home in his North English constituency, partially covering the building with black tarpaulins – in protest at the Prime Minister's climate policy. Sunak and his family were there on vacation.

The youth demanded that “under normal circumstances, showing up at someone's house would be considered trespassing. But these are not normal situations and we cannot continue as before,” said activist Ella Ward. On Monday, Youth Demand members painted red over Labor headquarters.

The British government is under pressure to publish legal opinions it has received on whether Israel is violating international humanitarian law in the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, the Labor Party has called for an end to arms export licenses from UK defense companies. A few days earlier, several foreign aid workers, including three Britons, were killed in Israeli airstrikes in the area.