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Home | Friday 28th May 2010 | Issue 724

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Nick ‘Extra’ Clegg made much of civil liberties during his ‘big bang’ damp squib policy launch last week.

However, it was an altogether more traditional Tory approach actually on the streets this week (25th) as cops evicted the Democracy Village protest camp at Parliament Square (see SchNEWS 722). Well you can’t have the hoy polloi mooching around looking untidy when the Queen’s coming for the State opening of Parliament. Not even when her speech itself promised the “return of the right to peaceful protest.”

It seems cops sprung into action at the behest of London Mayor Boris Johnson, who’d clearly been rifling through Red Ken’s dusty old filing cabinets before finding some old GLA bye-laws to use to say bye bye to the camp which had successfully made the square home since May 1st. 

But clearing away the anti-Afghan war protesters wasn’t enough - police also arrested and detained more permanent parliament resident Brian Haw, and his right hand fellow anti-Iraq war protester, Barbara Tucker. 

Despite Brian having previously been arrested numerous times for no good reason - as well as having his possessions illegally seized and trashed - before later being repeatedly vindicated in court (see SchNEWS 609, 607), cops were not at all hesitant when Brian asked to see a warrant and tried to film them after they turned up first thing in the morning demanding to search his tent. 

Despite Brian currently being on crutches, cops weren’t slow to roughly seize him for not getting out of the way quick enough – thus ‘obstructing police’ and they carted him and Barbara off for a pointless day of discomfort in the cells. Both were held for just over 24 hours before being unconditionally bailed til July. They are now safely back in the Square – but at least her maj’ didn’t haven’t to glimpse him from her car window as she went by...
Video of Brian’s arrest:

Keywords: brian haw, democracy village, protest camp


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