Pro-Palestine protesters vandalise Rochdale Cenotaph in ‘unacceptable’ stunt | UK | News

Pro-Palestine protesters have reportedly vandalised a war memorial with “free Palestine graffiti”.

The cenotaph, at the Esplanade in Rochdale, was first stripped of its poppies over the weekend before Palestinian flags were put there, reported MEN

On Tuesday evening, graffiti reading “free Palestine” was sprayed onto the memorial.

The horrendous act has been called “totally unacceptable” by Rochdale Council and is now being investigated. 

A spokesperson for Rochdale Borough Council said: “On the afternoon of Tuesday 7 November graffiti was sprayed on the Cenotaph. This is totally unacceptable and is also being investigated by police. The graffiti will be removed as soon as we are able to. As we said in our initial response – we are proud of our strong links with our armed forces community. Our war memorials and monuments are incredibly important and should be respected by everyone at all times.”

Police Community Support Officers are currently guarding the war memorial, enhancing previous protection provided by CCTV operators and passing patrols.

Chief Superintendent Nicky Porter, GMP Rochdale district commander, said: “We join communities across Rochdale in being deeply saddened by the incidents at the Cenotaph – the memorial is a particularly poignant reminder of those who have given their lives to our country, particularly at this time year.

“We will not tolerate the criminal disrespect of the town’s Memorial Gardens and I hope the action we have already taken in response to these two incidents reassures our communities of that.

“Whilst the area is regularly monitored by CCTV operators and passing patrols, the partnership is working to sustain increased protection at this time. We have Police Community Support Officers at the scene at the moment and we will be looking to put lasting measures in place over the coming hours and days.

“We don’t underestimate the impact these events will have on our community of veterans, and I will be personally engaging with them and other community groups throughout this week.”

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