A pro-Palestinian protest group has claimed responsibility for throwing red paint over the BBC’s headquarters, accusing the broadcaster of having “blood on its hands” over its coverage of the Israel-Hamas war.
The organisation Palestine Action identified itself as being behind the incident, which took place early on Saturday morning at Broadcasting House. It alleged that the broadcaster was “manufacturing consent for Israel’s war crimes”.
Posting on X, formerly known as Twitter, the group wrote: “Palestine Action left a message overnight for the BBC: spreading the occupation’s lies and manufacturing consent for Israel’s war crimes means that you have Palestinian blood on your hands #ShutBBCDown.”
Palestine Action is an activist group that uses civil disobedience tactics, primarily targeting the UK factories of the Israeli weapons manufacturer Elbit Systems.
The Metropolitan police, however, said there was no suggestion the incident was linked to a protest group and that no arrests had been made.
Victoria Derbyshire, a BBC journalist and presenter, shared images and footage on Saturday showing the main entrance at Portland Place daubed with red paint. She wrote:
Just arrived at work. This is the front entrance to BBC this morning pic.twitter.com/BHkyAtKZWF
— Victoria Derbyshire (@vicderbyshire) October 14, 2023
Broadcasting House was the starting point for a rally in solidarity with Palestinians taking place on Saturday. Protesters gathered outside the building before a march in central London and setting off at about 1pm. The main entrance was cordoned off, with officers nearby.
00:01:44Thousands attend pro-Palestine rally in London – video
The BBC has faced criticism in recent days for maintaining its editorial stance not to describe Hamas militants as terrorists. The defence secretary, Grant Shapps, clashed with the presenter Mishal Husain over the corporation’s refusal on Radio 4’s Today programme on Friday.
A Metropolitan police spokesperson said: “We are aware of criminal damage to a building in Portland Place, W1A. At this stage there is no suggestion this is linked to any protest group.”
The BBC radio presenter and DJ Edward Adoo tweeted on Saturday morning: “Just got to the BBC the main entrance is blocked someone sprayed red paint at the entrance.
“Regardless of your view on what’s going on this is not the way. Props to the security team on duty tonight.”