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Palestine campaigners in Cardiff hit back after police attacks

A disabled pro-Palestine activist was detained for approximately 26 hour
Issue 2908
Banner with "exist resist" and protesters with Palestine flags

Palestine protesters have repeatedly marched in Cardiff

A coalition of Palestine solidarity groups has slammed South Wales Police after cops arrested several activists in Cardiff and Swansea. Their statement, signed by 121 organisations, parties, politicians, prominent figures, and student encampments, says repression saw eight police officers arrest an activist who requires a mobility aid to walk and a mother and her 12-year-old daughter placed in a cell.

It comes after around 100 Palestine protesters blocked a busy junction in Cardiff on Monday as part of an emergency demonstration against Israel’s escalation of violence in Rafah. As protesters declared they were leaving the space, police officers grabbed one of the leading activists in South Wales.

They are from Stand Up 4 Palestine, a solidarity group in Wales, and have led the demonstrations in Cardiff and Swansea since last October

Later in the evening, a large group of protesters went to Cardiff Bay police station to call for the release of protesters.

Around 40 activists occupied the police station reception area, with more outside. The statement says, “On arrival, officers forced the demonstrators out of the station. As video evidence shows, the officers then proceeded to push protesters towards the stone steps directly behind them.

“Students were shoved to the floor, and another student was forced back into the station and arrested, as video evidence illustrates. The activists have evidence of bruises from the treatment.”

Cops arrested 15 protesters—the majority students—who have been involved with the Cardiff university encampment. 

At the height of the protest, over 150 people congregated around the station, a number that increased as the police escalated their response, with local community members leaving their homes and cars to join in.

A number of young black and Arab men from the Butetown area also gathered outside the station to show support and shared sentiments of anger and discontent towards the police.

The statement adds, “The disabled pro-Palestine activist was detained for approximately 26 hours, and the other 16 were held in custody for approximately 19 hours each.

“The following day, a mother originally from Gaza, and her 12 year old daughter were arrested and the daughter was placed in a cell.

“A 70 year old woman activist, who was providing police station support to the mother and daughter was subsequently arrested. The police conclude that the support amounted to a demonstration, and consequently arrested the activist, who had bail conditions instructing her to not attend a protest.”

The statement was initiated by Stand Up For Palestine, Cymru Students For A Free Palestine, Cardiff Stop The War, Black Lives Matter Cardiff & Vale, Cardiff for Sudan and the Muslim Association of Britain.

It calls on South Wales Police “to drop all and any charges against the arrestees” and to “respect the right to protest”. 

Everyone should stand with the Palestine solidarity movement in Wales against the state’s attacks. 

  • Read and sign the solidarity petition here

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