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MPS GCA ensure safe Rally for Cyprus 2016


On Saturday 16th July 2016 the MPS GCA supported the Cypriot community at the annual Rally for Cyprus, ensuring they were able to have their voices heard safely on a day when several demonstrations took place in a tension filled city of London.

The day before the event, there were concerns that it may not even be able to proceed due to the attempted military coup in Turkey, which sparked protests that night and were expected in the days that followed. Following early morning risk assessments by the MPS GCA, the rally was deemed safe to continue with continual reviews throughout and contingency plans in place.

British Cypriots gathered outside Turkey’s embassy calling for the end of the occupation of Cyprus so the island could be united once again. A delegation of the rally’s organisers, the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK, led by its President Christos Karaolis, delivered a resolution addressed to the Turkish Ambassador.

The demonstration outside the embassy was followed by the annual march through central London, with the demonstrators holding Cypriot flags, banners and pickets. Before this year’s Rally, 10,000 leaflets outlining the rights and demands of Cyprus were distributed at 15 central London locations with additional leaflets also distributed during the march.

Following the march, a delegation including Rt Hon Theresa Villiers, representatives of the Cypriot Women’s League, the leadership of the Federation, the Cyprus High Commissioner, H.E. Evripides Evriviades, and Greek Ambassador H.E. Konstantinos Bikas, laid a ‘Cyprus’ wreath at the Cenotaph. This concluded when Federation President, Mr Karaolis, handed a letter addressed to the new Prime Minister of the UK Theresa May at the entrance of Downing Street.

Throughout the event, fast time intelligence was obtained, reviewed and communicated with the organisers to ensure a safe demonstration. The National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopters were called into action to avoid a head on clash with 300 Turkish protestors.

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