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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Palestinian flags will be removed from lampposts, says council

Palestinian flags will be removed from public lampposts Slough Borough Council has said – after a complaint from a ‘concerned resident’.

The flags had appeared on lampposts on the roundabout by the Copthorne Hotel on Tuns Lane towards the end of May, the resident told the LDRS. She says the council removed the flags after she complained – but new ones reappeared.

The resident – who wanted to stay anonymous – said no flags should be put on public property. She told the LDRS: “Those flags shouldn’t be allowed on council property – I wouldn’t want the Russian Flag, the US flag or the Brazilian flag there either.”

However the resident also explained that her ‘private view’ is that the Palestinian flag is a ‘terrorist flag.’

The flag has been used since the 1920s to represent Palestinian aspirations of statehood and self-determination.

Slough Borough Council said it has removed the flags because ‘it is not safe to have items attached to our street furniture.’ But it said people ‘are welcome’ to fly any flags from their own property.

A spokesperson told the LDRS: “For around the last four weekends (possibly more) flags have appeared around the town, including the Copthorne Roundabout, Bath Road, Windsor Road, London Road, Farnham Road and other places attached to our lampposts.

“Because it is not safe to have items attached to our street furniture we have been sending out crews to remove them. Unfortunately each weekend, more appear.

“We have removed several from the Copthorne Roundabout but over the weekend it seems a couple more have gone up.”

The spokesperson added the council had received message of complaint and support for the flags.

The said: “We have received complaints about, and support for, the flags on social media, through councillors and on email and we understand how emotive the flying of flags in this way can be.

“People are welcome to fly flags from their windows or on their own properties – whether these are support for a football team in the Euros or making a representation of their feelings on an international issue.

“However, attaching things to our street furniture and lampposts is not safe and it is for this reason they are being removed.”

Several large protests have taken place in London and in towns nationwide in support of Palestine since the war in Gaza started in October last year.

The issue has also become a factor in the general election campaign in Slough. Independent candidate Azhar Chohan has said he will oppose ‘genocide in Gaza’ if elected.

And Slough’s most recent MP, Labour’s Tan Dhesi, defended his decision to abstain on a vote for an immediate ceasefire in parliament last year proposed by the Scottish National Party.

He said he instead chose to vote for a Labour proposal calling for ‘an end to the violence in Israel and Palestine’ which he said was more realistic. He added he later voted for a ceasefire in February this year.

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