Palestine protesters used powerful lasers to write the words of an infamous antisemitic message on the Elizabeth Tower, best known worldwide as the Big Ben clock at Britain’s Parliament.

Messages including “From the river to the sea, Palestina will be free” were projected onto the side of the Elizabeth Tower during a large Palestine protest in Westminster’s Parliament Square on Wednesday night. As the demonstration roared outside, Parliament faced problems of its own, as conflicting left-wing party attempts to vote on a resolution in favour of a Gaza ceasefire saw a major break with convention potentially permanently damaging the authority of the speaker of the house.

The massive projected letters appear wider than the clockface of the Elizabeth Tower itself, which are themselves almost 23 feet wide each.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – FEBRUARY 21: Hundreds gather outside the parliament to stage a protest in support of Palestinians as the proposal calling a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza is being debated in the parliament in London, United Kingdom on February 21, 2024. Slogans calling for a ceasefire were projected onto the clock tower of Big Ben. (Photo by Rasid Necati Aslim/Anadolu via Getty Images)

The controversial “From the river to the sea” antisemitic chant is a matter of controversy in Europe, where in some countries — like Germany, for instance — its use is pretext for police to shut down a protest as spreading hate speech. This is not the case in the United Kingdom, where police say it is not an arrestable offence, but saying it in public is enough for foreign visitors to be deported, the government says.

Former Home Secretary Suella Braverman said the chant had become a “staple of anti-Semitic discourse”. The British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had said earlier this year: “Those who chant ‘from the river to the sea’ are either useful idiots who who not understand what they are saying, or worse, people who wish to wipe the Jewish state from the map. We will have zero tolerance for those who promote or glorify terrorism or peddle anitsemitism on our streets.”

Martin Daubney, a veteran journalist and former Brexit Party Member of the European Parliament who was covering the protest for GB News noted the laser projection of the antisemitic message on Parlaiment’s world-famous clocktower as it happened. He said that he had spoken to police officers covering the protest and despite it being obvious where the messages were being projected from, and them saying it “isn’t legal”, they allegedly told the broadcaster they did not intend to act.

Daubney said of the police: “They are just standing and watching… you can see a simple laser projector from opposite Parliament is doing this. No police stepping in”. Daubney was later egged at the protest.