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Protests at proPalestinian rally

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A pro-Palestinian demonstration met with verbal protests from a small band of far-right extremists.

There was a heavy police presence in London amid fears anti-Islamic groups would cause trouble during the annual Al-Quds Day event.

But the march and rally passed off without violence as a gathering of counter-protesters appeared to keep their opposition vocal.

The band of people, understood to be from the English Defence League, chanted noisily and pointed fingers as the procession went past Piccadilly Circus en route from Marble Arch to Waterloo Place.

The Al-Quds Day crowd responded with their own shouts during the angry stand-off as lines of police officers kept the two sides apart.

As well as a group of Iranian counter-demonstrators, a Union Flag-waving gathering confronted the procession as it passed through Piccadilly Circus.

Some covered their faces with scarves, others wore football shirts and held up a sign declaring "March for England" as they shouted "English and we're proud of it".

Exchanges of "shame on you" passed between the two sides. But after a momentary rise in tension and noise, the situation calmed.

The protesters dispersed while police moved any potential troublemakers to a cordoned area and the march continued on to its finishing point in Waterloo Place.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said there were no arrests.

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