Police hunt man who launched racist tirade at pro-Palestinian protester on her way home from London demo
- He was heard calling protesters ‘scumbags’ and saying they need ‘eradicating’
A man is being hunted by police after being filmed launching a racist tirade at a pro-Palestinian protester travelling home following Saturday’s demonstration.
The man is heard in the video calling protesters ‘scumbags’ and saying they need ‘eradicating’ after confronting a Muslim protester and grabbing her sign whilst travelling on the same train.
Onlookers are seen stepping in to protect the woman, who had been wearing a hijab, when the pair both disembarked at a railway station in Kent on Armistice Day.
The man, who is heard asking others in the video, ‘Do you know what day it is?’, is now being sought by the British Transport Police following the incident on Saturday.
The woman who recorded the video, who has asked not to be named, had been travelling from St Pancras International in central London after taking part in the protest calling for a ceasefire in Palestine.
The man (pictured) is heard in the video calling protesters ‘scumbags’ and saying they need ‘eradicating’ after confronting a Muslim protester and grabbing her sign whilst travelling on the same train
Whilst on the train home from London, the man in the video she filmed suddenly grabbed the homemade placard she had taken to the protest and screwed it up
Whilst on the train home from London, the man in the video she filmed suddenly grabbed the homemade placard she had taken to the protest and screwed it up.
The placard had borne a message from a former lecturer of hers, which read: ‘Palestinians are not begging the world to acknowledge our humanity, it is the world’s we are questioning – Rafeef Ziadah’.
On the message written on her placard, the woman explained: ‘Rafeef was my former lecturer and she taught me so much about Palestine so I was proud to parade her words.’
READ MORE: Pro-Palestinian protesters say ‘more than 800,000’ marched to London’s US Embassy to demand that Israel stop bombing Gaza – as crowds are asked to disperse peacefully
She added she had been ‘shocked and mortified’ by the man’s actions, and shouted after him asking why he had damaged her placard, but got no response.
After being comforted by a fellow passenger at Folkestone Central, the woman soon realised the man who had damaged her sign had also disembarked at the same station.
‘We waited by the barrier in case the man had got off at the same stop,’ she explained.
‘It soon became clear that he had as he was shouting as he came down the platform.
‘Luckily I had a group of people form a barrier around me to obstruct his view. I started filming for my safety.
‘He proceeded to shout obscenities at me such as ‘eradicate ’em all’ and ‘kill ’em off’.
‘After he’d passed the barrier a bystander told him to leave me alone and the aggressor started swearing at him, shouting: ‘Do you know what day it is?’.
‘I was so mortified and terrified. Two lovely ladies escorted me to my dad’s car who I had called because I did not feel safe walking home. I am still shaken up and can’t believe speaking up would garner this much hatred.
‘I am visibly Muslim. I recently started wearing hijab and it’s sad that I was clearly targeted for following my religion.
Thousands of people attended the pro-Palestinian march in London last Saturday, November 11
Protesters marched through central London towards the US Embassy in solidarity with the Palestinian people
‘But thankfully this has not shaken my faith and I intend to continue wearing hijab hopefully more regularly in the future and still fight for the liberation of Palestinians.
‘I still have faith in humanity despite this and hope people can see me speaking up for this cause and be inspired to do the same.’
The woman added that she had gone to protest in order to exercise her freedom of speech in calling for a ceasefire in Palestine.
READ MORE: Hunt for London’s most wanted after pro-Palestine protest chaos: Police issue images of activists and counter protesters including woman screaming ‘death to all Jews’, men in ‘Hamas headbands’ and group who hurled racist abuse in Waterloo station
‘I went through all of this for a ceasefire in Palestine and an end to the brutal occupation,’ she said.
‘I still can’t believe speaking up against a genocide garners this much hatred, but I have faith in humanity that we can bring an end to this violence which has killed 11,000 Gazans including 6,000 children.
‘I also hope my voice and my perseverance in speaking up can inspire others to do the same in pressuring our local MPs to vote for a ceasefire.
‘If I have inspired one voice to speak out then what I went through would have been worth it.
‘I want children to stop dying. Freedom of speech is important for me and I’ll never ever stop using my voice so I hope to inspire others to use theirs too despite these lunatics and their incitement of violence.’
The British Transport Police have since released an appeal to locate the man in the video, relating to a ‘racially aggravated altercation’.
They also attached a screenshot of the video, showing the man they are seeking, dressed in a white Samurai rugby top.
‘Do you recognise this individual?’, the appeal asked.
‘The BTP are releasing this image following a racially aggravated altercation at Folkestone Station yesterday, 11 November.
‘Detectives want to speak with the person in the image as they believe he may have information that could help their investigation.’
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