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Occupy Democracy - the Day 2 kettle of the Head of Boris Johnson's Wardens, selecting who to get the police to arrest. Photo: Donnachadh McCarthy.
Occupy Democracy - the Day 2 kettle of the Head of Boris Johnson's Wardens, selecting who to get the police to arrest. Photo: Donnachadh McCarthy.
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London's 'Tarpaulin Revolution' lives another day

Donnachadh McCarthy

20th October 2014

Last night the police were in full force in London's Parliament Square, writes Donnachadh McCarthy - forcibly removing Occupy Democracy protestors and snatching sleeping bags, cardboard and tarpaulins as illegal 'sleeping equipment', apparently on direct orders from the Mayor, Boris Johnson. Yet the rally keeps on growing ....

Let us show Boris Johnson that his brutal travesty of 'policing' will not close down this week-long series of positive talks and lectures on Britain's broken democracy.

Last evening I when I returned for the Day 3 night shift at Occupy London, I was confronted with violent mayhem.

Forty peaceful sitting protestors were surrounded by a three deep circular kettle of 150 police, with screams renting the air.

There were 3 man snatch-squads forcibly removing the non-violent protestors from within the kettle, one by one.

I saw one young man having his face forced into the muck, as riot police-officers hands grappled his throat, as they handcuffed him.

What was their crime? To sit peacefully in Parliament Square discussing the capture of Britain's democracy by the rich and its disastrous consequences for social and environmental justice, on a plastic tarpaulin.

Night-long harassment

Eventually when they were all removed, they confiscated the tarpaulins and frog-marched off in an extraordinary warrior-like formation two-by-two.

It was 8pm by then and we simply convened our democratic assembly and continued with the peaceful protest. The event led to jocular demands for the launch of The Tarpaulin Revolution!

We were constantly harassed all night long with the farcical declaration by Boris Johnson's main representative at the scene declaring that "cardboard was sleeping equipment" and therefore illegal to lie on in the square.

This followed their ruling the previous evening that plastic bags used to shelter our legs from the rain were also "sleeping equipment" and so illegal in Parliament Square.

The harrassment went on almost all night long but we managed to negotiate each attack peacefully without any further threatened arrests.

Russell, cheers for all the pizza!

Russell Brand arrived near midnight kindly laden with pizzas and drinks, and I had an interesting conversation with him about revolutionary versus evolutionary politics.

Thankfully it was a mild and dry night and having survived the full scale assault and persistent harassment, Occupy Democracy London greeted the beautiful dawn unfurling our reclaimed "Real Democracy Now!" banner opposite Westminster's Parliament once more.

And finally some of the mainstream press arrived including Reuters and the Evening Standard. We relayed to them how badly Boris's Johnson's vicious and farcical attempts to squash Occupy London compared to the fairer treatment of the Occupy Central protesters in Hong Kong.

Jenny Jones, the Green Peer, arrived with flasks of tea and immediately promised to demands answers from both Boris Johnson and the Metropolitan Police, for an urgent explanation for the reported aggressive attempts to harass the peaceful protesters.

Despite the police clampdown, numbers doubled

We were delighted that despite all the above, numbers prepared to spend the sleepless Day 3 night had doubled from the previous Day 2, with people outraged at what they were seeing on Indymedia.

So please people, come today and help build momentum for this peaceful protest for real democracy in Parliament Square, that the Occupy London heroes have fought so hard and peacefully for.

Let us show Boris Johnson that his brutal travesty of 'policing' will not close down this week-long series of positive talks and lectures on Britain's broken democracy.

 


 

See also: 'Less freedom in Westminster's Parliament Square than in Hong Kong!!'

Information on the Occupy Democracy week-long protest, 17th-26th October.

Evening Standard article: standard.co.uk/news/london/occupy-london-protesters-start-week-long-demonstration-9803689.html

Donnachadh McCarthy FRSA has been one of the Occupy London participants this week. A former Deputy Chair of the Liberal Democrats, he can be reached via his website 3acorns.

Copies of his book 'The Prostitute State - How Britain's Democracy Has Been Bought' are available from theprostitutestate.co.uk.

E-book version available from www.Lulu.com.

 

 

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