Government will face legal action if it bans Palestine flag

Civil society organisations in the UK have written to the government warning it that any attempt to ban the Palestine flag will be met with an immediate challenge in the courts.

The letter, signed by 10 organisations, threatens legal action if the government goes ahead with recent threats to prosecute people for carrying the flag which has become an international symbol of the Palestinian people’s resistance against occupation.

Earlier this week, the right-wing Home Secretary Suella Braverman warned police chiefs about the display of Palestinian flags and pro-Palestine chanting on British streets.

In a letter to chief constables in England and Wales, she suggested that waving the flag “may not be legitimate” if it is seen as a show of support for terrorism.

But the civil society organisations say that government attempts to conflate the flag with terrorism are a cynical attempt to delegitimise the Palestinians’ struggle.

“The Palestinian flag is not a proscribed terrorist flag and any decision by the Government or the Police to block pro-Palestinian protests or to prevent displaying the flag during protests will be met immediately with a notice of intent to issue judicial review and injunction proceedings”, the letter says.

So far there has been one report of a young man in Manchester being arrested for a public order offence for wearing the flag.

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The warning comes ahead of a weekend of solidarity with Palestinians in which hundreds of thousands of people are expected to take to the streets of Britain to demand an end to Israel’s occupation and brutal attack on Gaza.

The letter also demands an immediate ceasefire in occupied Palestine and support the United Nations’ call for Gaza’s borders to be opened for humanitarian aid to get in.

The letter, signed by 10 organisations, accuses the government of being complicit in the possible commission of war crimes by Israel in supporting the Zionist regime. It says that the response of both PM Sunak and leader of the opposition Keir Starmer have given the green light to Israel to carry out massacres and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians.

“We expected the Government to call for both sides to seek an immediate ceasefire but this has not been the case. Astonishingly, you have gone one step further by providing military support to Israel during its murderous campaign on civilian areas where 50% of its two million inhabitants are children,” it says.

The full letter can be read here.

The following organisations have signed the letter:

Black Lives Matter Coalition
Muslim Voice for Peace
Association of Muslim Lawyers
London Muslim Community Forum
Sri Lankan Diaspora UK
Muslim Public Affairs Committee
Muslim Association of Britain
UK-Palestine Mental Health Network
Convivencia Alliance
Islamic Human Rights Commission

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