On Saturday, according to the Daily Telegraph, pro-Palestinian protestors ‘brought Oxford Street to a standstill on one of the busiest shopping days of the Christmas period’. The organisers, Sisters Uncut, declared that ‘Christmas is cancelled’ while placards read ‘no shopping while bombs are dropping’ – a reference to Israel’s military response to the 7 October massacre in which Palestinian terrorists murdered 1,200 Jewish men, women and children.
The Telegraph recorded that the marchers had ‘walked slowly’ along Oxford Street and ‘forced fashion retailers Zara and Puma to temporarily lock their doors’. They wrote that the demonstrators ‘made their way from Soho Square towards Oxford Circus, holding up buses and taxis’.
Sky News, meanwhile, reported that the marchers stopped outside Puma, which sponsors the Israeli national football team, and chanted ‘shut it down’. They also gathered outside Zara and accused it of ‘supporting genocide’. Pro-Palestinian campaigners say a Zara fashion photoshoot featuring limbless mannequins, which was shot in September, was mocking casualties from the bombing of Gaza, which began in October. According to Sky’s correspondent: ‘The aim was to cause disruption and they succeeded. Traffic ground to a halt as the marchers made their way to Regent Street, with other stores locking up as they passed.’ The Independent described the demonstration as ‘bringing traffic to a standstill’ while participants ‘waved Palestinian flags, played music and let off coloured smoke’.
Newspaper reports were corroborated by videos from the event, many of them posted on X by the protest organisers themselves. It’s important to document all this because some people are attempting to downplay the protests and minimise their impact on retailers and shoppers.
Among them are the Metropolitan Police. Here is what the force tweeted about the incident:
We’ve seen some suggestions that Oxford Street was ‘closed down’ earlier which isn’t really an accurate reflection of today’s events.