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London tube driver suspended for ‘Free Palestine’ chant

LONDON (AFP)A train driver on London’s underground was suspended Monday for apparently leading passengers in a chant of “free, free Palestine”, transport officials said.

The driver has been temporarily removed from duty pending further investigation, Transport for London (TfL) — which runs the metro network — said in a statement.

The incident happened on Saturday as about 100,000 protesters took part in a pro-Palestinian demonstration in the British capital.

Video footage that circulated on social media appears to show the driver saying “free, free” over the train’s tannoy system.

Passengers in a packed carriage then respond by shouting “Palestine”.

The chant is popular at demonstrations in solidarity with Palestinians.

“We have been urgently and thoroughly investigating the footage appearing to show a Tube driver misusing the PA system and leading chants on a Central line train on Saturday,” Glynn Barton, TfL’s chief operating officer, said.

“A driver has now been identified and suspended whilst we continue to fully investigate the incident in line with our policies and procedures.”

Britain’s security minister, Tom Tugendhat, had wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that many will have found the video “intimidating”.

Since Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7 — which left 1,400 dead — Israeli air and ground bombardments of Gaza have killed more than 5,000 people in the Palestinian enclave, according to Hamas authorities.

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