As parliament was state-opened, the democracy village carried on with its main campaign to bring the troops home from Afghanistan. The papers have gone apoplectic saying there should be no “permament” protest, but as the camp is clearly a protest about an admittedly long, but ongoing issue, there is no reason for the camp to remain indefinitely. With more and more troops coming out and agreeing with the majority of the british people that this war is a nonsense, the solution is obvious.
Brian Haw and Barbara Tucker are still being held at belgravia police station. they have bboth been charged with ‘obstructing a pc in the course of their duty’ and additionally, barbara has been charged with a section 5 public order offence
During yet another tent search without warrant, police violently arrested both campaigners in parliament square this morning at around 7.30am.
They were held at belgravia police station throughout the day, and around tea time their solicitors, birnberg and peirce, were led to believe they were about to be released on bail without an interview.
During the course of the evening, supporters were concerned they had still not re-surfaced, and the Belgravia Custody Suite telephone was left off the hook for all that time so it was difficult for supporters of solicitors to get further information.
Eventually at about 9pm, the police story had changed and now the custody sergeant had refused bail and were holding them for court the next morning.
They will be taken to Westminster Magistrates Court early in the morning which will certainly stretch to breaking point the 24-hour restriction on police detention, and will appear before a judge at some point in thew Wed morning.
alternative queen’s speech
cleaning up after the queen
channel 4 interview
we are not amused
orff with their heads!
The day started with a police search of all the tents in the square. some of the campers passively resisted the searches, but avid readers will know of Brian Haw’s doubts that the searches are legal. In fact it is quite telling that although his supporter Barbara Tucker has been arrested many times for “obstructing the police in the course of their duty” over this very issue, the cases are all yet to be heard in court, where she will argue that the searches are in fact unlawful, and are meant to cause maximum harrassment.
Once again, police took brian and barbara’s objections as an excuse to violently assult/arrest them and took them to belgravia police station before 8am this morning. even the right-wing ‘evening standard’ described the arrest – “carried off by four officers with his whole body weight on his forward soldiers”. other witnesses described the arrest as unnecessary and heavy-handed.
The rest of the morning passed pretty much without incident. policing was of course impenetrable, but in a public relations sort of way, police mingled with campers in a ‘community policing’ style approach giving the square the appearance of a festival.
There was a slightly silly ‘alternative queen’s speech’ pantomime going on, and there were various groups present including guantanamo protestors, but aside from the huge ‘troops home’ banners, there actually wasn’t much in the way of shouting as the elite and powerful rolled past.
Brian’s arrest has provoked some media coverage, and channel 4 did an interview with one of the camp’s spokespeople that might appear on C4 news later if not edited out
The camp itself is intent on remaining until the troops are withdrawn. eviction will be resisted both physically (there is already a permamently manned tripod on site) and in the courts.
They are becoming better organised everyday, but need regular reports, are screaming out for tech help (as they have a partially constructed and functional comms tent which could do with extra ‘leisure batteries’ and techy knowledge), and could of course use donations of time, skills or money to keep going.
Each day sees open meetings, and there will be more direct actions coming like the ones we have already seen reported here.
For more info and news, check out their blogspot – democracy village