Tch. I thought most politicians had tried grass, and decided that they didn’t like it. Shows what I know…
Times – Parliament protesters are evicted: Dozens of people who have been camping opposite Parliament have been evicted. The Greater London Authority said that it had to act because the area had become a “health hazard”. Litter was being strewn around Parliament Square and it was being used as a public toilet, officials said. The authority said that it was taking no action against Brian Haw, the veteran campaigner who has been protesting against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for five years.
Guardian – Parliament protest cleared: The camp, which was begun by Brian Haw, was disbanded yesterday afternoon after police and officials from the Greater London authority issued eviction notices. A spokesman said it had been forced to act because of a growing litter problem and because campers were using Parliament Square as a public toilet. He said that no action had been taken against Mr Haw, who has been protesting at the site since 2001. Yesterday Mr Haw told the Evening Standard: “Ken Livingstone is … very concerned the peace camp may be killing grass in Parliament Square – what about the kids in Baghdad, Ken?”
IndyMedia – SOCPA – report and film of yesterday’s raid on parliament square: yesterday’s operation saw the greater london council use bye-laws to once again curb brian’s protest. over recent weeks, some new tents had arrived in the square, and some of the people in them, not connected with the peace protest in any way, began to behave anti-socially. it is unclear why these people sudenly turned up, but it gave the ken livingston the excuse to put out press releases yesterday claiming that peace protestors were defecating in the flower-beds and causing other problems. most of the mainstream media dutifully spread these lies, and gave cover to another expensive operation as, yesterday morning, a seven foot high wire fence was erected to enclose the entire square.
BBC – Parliament peace campers evicted: Mr Haw has permission from the police to have a 24-hour demonstration site on the pavement of Parliament Square under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005. The GLA said this is being respected. The metal security fence skirts around Mr Haw’s tent, where he has been living since he began his vigil in 2001. But access to the rest of the square is being restricted by GLA officials and a small number of police officers.
So now, as an unfortunate side-effect, *nobody* can protest on Parliament Square. Oh, goodie.
Here, have a look at the bloody big fence… no doubt we’ll all be on the wrong side of one soon.
1. So, we know roughly how much the police are pissing away on these efforts; what’s this exercise costing the GLA?
2. In my experience when Councils and similar authorities see someone ruining their nice clean [blank], they try to catch who’s doing it for a number of practical reasons (it often stops with one person, chances of civil recovery, etc.). Police have been down at the square regularly taking pictures and logging faces for months… years now. Surely the police and the GLA, even if they don’t work in tandem, are working to identify exactly who has been messing in the bushes. Actually, with all that manpower and evidence to hand they must have managed to arrest the miscreant(s) by now…. No? Odd, that.
4. So how long will that fence be in place? If it’s officially to allow the seeding or laying of lawn, they’ve got a few weeks, realistically.