Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Boris to squash protest camp in Parliament Square

The Great Libertarian Boris Johnson is planning to squash the current peaceful protests in Parliament Square:

"A spokeswoman for City Hall said: "Parliament Square is a world heritage site and top tourist attraction that is visited by thousands of people and broadcast around the world each day. The mayor respects the right to demonstrate – however, the scale and impact of the protest is now doing considerable damage to the square and preventing its peaceful use by other Londoners including those who may wish to have an authorised protest. As a result he has given GLA officers the authority to apply to the high court to begin legal proceedings for trespass."

Boris's own Metropolitan Police force have also been doing their bit.

Now I'm no expert on the legal minutiae of the case, but I do know it's a good idea to get your facts right before heading to the high court.

Because despite what Boris, Westminster Council and others are claiming, Parliament Square is not within the World Heritage site, as this Unesco map shows:

On the wider point, I find it hard to understand why Boris and Dave are so keen to stop peaceful protest now, when they've pledged to make it easier in years to come.

So are the government really committed to "allowing members of the public to protest peacefully without fear of being criminalised"?

Or does that not count when it comes to seeing it in their own backyard?


Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

It has been a lengthy disgrace the fact that demonstration has been forbidden outside Parliament, ridiculous stuff that reflects badly upon us as a country.

AdamB said...

Yes the Labour government's policies on this were completely wrong, and the instincts of many in the Conservative party are equally bad as well.

Just remember the reactions amongst some Conservatives and their supporters to the events during the G20 protests last year.

Andrew said...

Good spot as regards the map - I didn't realise Parliament Square was not part of the UNESCO World Heritage site.

Dazzla said...

"who may wish to have an authorised protest."

Do the words 'authorised protest' not send a shiver down anyone else's spine?