Activists told they can’t wear “Free Palestine” tops inside Harrods

Members of a campaign group say they were told they could not wear ‘Free Palestine’ jumpers at Harrods.

The famous London store has now apologised to members of the group but says it stands by it’s policy as clothing with political statements might ‘offend another customer’. Despite concerns though the group were allowed to shop at the store after speaking to customer services.

Members of the Drive for Justice group said they arrived at Harrods dressed with their hoodies which stated ‘Free Palestine’.

The group were in London to remember Rachel Corrie, an American peace activist.

Spokesperson Asif Mahmud said, “Our visit to Harrods was merely to window shop and some members were intending to buy gifts for their loved ones.”

Some group members had the Palestinian flag and ‘free Palestine’ underneath were told they didn’t meet the dress code of the London store.

“We were shocked – we were smartly dressed and well behaved with no intention to cause any problems for the Harrods Store.” said Mr Mahmud.

“The woman security officer who stopped us said we could not enter the store because our tops were making a political statement.”

The team say they spoke to the Customer Service department and then the security team relaxed their position and said they could shop without hindrance and the matter would be referred to their management for a detailed response.

The store has since written to the group following their official complaint concerning the Store Clothing Policy.

A statement from the store apologised for any disappointment caused. It added, “In order to enable us to provide enjoyable shopping experience to all we ask all customers to adhere to store policies as detailed Harrods website.

“Below can be found on Harrods website under the FAQ. However it is fairly generic it applies to any garments or bags worn by our customers. Clothing with political statements like ‘Free Palestine’ on them fall under the category of such that might ‘offend another customer’.

“The website statement reads, “Does Harrods have a dress code? At Harrods we are very proud of our beautiful store and to ensure it is maintained for all of our customers to enjoy without offence whilst shopping, there are some sensible restrictions on dress code when entering the store.

“These include asking customers to refrain from wearing crash helmets and to generally ensure they are not wearing anything that could offend another customer or cause damage to our store or merchandise.’ In a response to the group, the store security manger also added, “I would like to sincerely apologise once again for any inconvenience caused and reassure you that we strive to treat everyone equally.

“Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.”

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