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Gaza protester hit in neck at city centre vigil

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: August 12, 2014

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A peaceful protester trying to raise awareness of the plight of the people of Gaza was hit in the neck as she read out a message in the centre of Bristol.

Katherine Whiteley, 61, received a painful blow from either a rock or an egg as she joined scores of others at the Jews for Justice vigil last week on College Green.

The retired teacher had been reading a message from a friend living in Palestine, explaining the horrors of being there at the current time.

The blow caused bruising and pain in her neck for several days, but no lasting injury.

Katherine, who has been staying with a friend in St Paul's, said: "It was a really nice atmosphere at the vigil. Everyone was mixing together, some people were reading poems. A friend of mine had sent me a message from Gaza about what it is like to be there at the moment. I was reading out the message when all of a sudden something hit me really hard on the side of the neck. I didn't see the chap who did it, because my back was turned. I thought it was very important that I got the message out so I was determined to finish reading it, and I did.

While Katherine carried on reading, other people at the vigil chased and caught a man they believed was responsible. The incident happened at about 6.30pm last Tuesday, August 5.

Police spokeswoman Hollie-Marie Bone said: "A man in his 50s has been arrested on suspicion of assault and using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress. He has been bailed until later this month pending further enquiries."

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