Express & Star

Pro-Palestine protesters disrupt another Black Country council meeting

Pro-Palestine protesters disrupted another Black Country Council meeting last night.

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After similar incidents at Dudley and Walsall Councils protesters forced a halt to proceedings at Sandwell Council.

More than 30 protestors held a silent protest outside Oldbury Council House before full council wearing symbolic bandanna over their mouths.

Then 15 protesters entered the public gallery when the meeting started. After observing a minute's silence marking an ex-councillor's death the protesters demanded the council hold a silence for the victims of the conflict in Gaza.

When the Mayor and chairman of the meeting Councillor Bill Gavan refused the protesters began shouting "shame on you" and security were forced to remove them.

Mayor Gavan said: "I am bringing this meeting to a halt."

After a short break after the public gallery was cleared proceedings resumed.

Secretary of Sandwell and Dudley Palestine Solidarity Group Jerry Langford told the Express & Star: "We went to Sandwell Council for a silent and peaceful protest.

"However, after we observed their minute's with respect they would not even show any respect for 30,000 innocent victims of Gaza.

"They say foreign affairs are not part of their remit but two weeks after the Russian invasion of Ukraine the council passed a motion condemning the attacks."

He added: "We will continue to protest in Sandwell and Dudley whenever we can."

Old Warley Councillor Jay Anandou was in the chamber.

He said: "I totally understand the protestors point of view, I spoke to them, what is happening in Gaza is a human tragedy."

Many councillors wanted to observe a silence for Gaza, however the monitoring officer told the Mayor it was against the rules.