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Last Updated: Sunday, 5 December, 2004, 12:53 GMT
Protesters arrested over M&S demo
Ten pro-Palestinian demonstrators have been arrested during a protest outside Marks & Spencer in Manchester.

Police made the arrests after the demonstrators were asked to move their protests to Manchester Peace Gardens.

They are alleged to have breached conditions imposed by the Chief Constable on all public gatherings for the Christmas shopping period.

Campaigners target M&S over what they say is its business support for Israel. The company disputes this suggestion.

Chief Inspector Chris Ullah, based in the city centre, said police supported the protesters' right to express their opinions.

'Protest conditions'

He said the number of people visiting Manchester in the Christmas period can increase by more than 300% and "public safety is of paramount importance."

The police restrictions are in force from 29 November to 3 January.

Demonstrations must be confined to the Peace Gardens outside the town hall, not exceed three hours, start no earlier than noon and not consist of more than 20 demonstrators.

But a spokesman for the demonstrators described the conditions as "draconian".

Protestors in Manchester have held regular pickets outside M&S as part of a campaign alleging the company provides economic and business support to Israel.

A Marks & Spencer spokeswoman said the company did not align itself with any government, political party, religious denomination or sectarian group.

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