Phone: 07751445132 / 07745651634 / 07424934658
Twitter: #occupydemocracy / @occupydemocracy / @occupylondon
NB. Pictures/video are available, plus interviews with people from the occupation can be arranged
Breaking: London #OccupyDemocracy protestors retake Parliament Square despite up to 30 arrests this morning
- Despite 20-30 arrests of peaceful pro-democracy protestors earlier this morning
- Green member of the House of Lords, Baroness Jenny Jones arrested
- John McDonnell MP writes to Metropolitan Police condemning the action
London #occupydemocracy protestors are trying to reoccupy Parliament Square, despite police attempting to violently crush the protest – which is calling for urgent reforms to our bankrupt democracy – by arresting 20-30 people and removing all equipment and personal items at 11am this morning. Notably Baroness Jenny Jones of Moulescoomb was amongst the arrestees, until she was dearrested once the Police realised who she was. Donnachadh McCarthy, the whistleblowing former Deputy Chair of the Liberal Democrats and author of The Prostitute State was also arrested.
In attempting to retake the Square, the protestors say that they are resolute and refuse to be silenced by the ongoing physical and emotional torment that the Metropolitan Police and the Heritage Wardens have been putting them through, at the behest of the GLA and the Government.
The #occupydemocracy occupation, which has so far seen thousands of prople supporting them in their call for real democracy across its 4 days on Parliament Square, with around 50-150 occupying the Square overnights, is demanding reforms to our democratic process so that it serves the public interest, rather than the interests of corporations, banks and a tiny wealthy elite.
Speaking about the arrests and events this morning, Labour MP John McDonnell who came quickly to observe said: “I have contacted the Metropolitan Police Commission to condem the disproportionately large number of police officers used to break up what was simply a group of largely young people who wish to use the venue of Parliament square for a time limited period to engage in political discussion. It’s what we call democracy.”
Baroness Jenny Jones of Moulescoomb who was quickly on the scene was herself arrested until police realised who she was. She said: “I have never been arrested before and I didn’t expect it now. It was rough and I’m very shaken up. I am proud to say that my first arrest was in support of Occupy London, Occupy Democracy and everything they stand for.”
Shortly before he was arrested, Dan Ashman, now in a cell in Charing Cross Police station said: “This is not democracy, nothing is transparent. We’ve got secret trade deals like TTIP threatening our democracy, fracking going ahead without our consent, NHS privatisation and rapidly increasing inequality. Nobody voted for any of this. We need to stand up and fight for the things that matter. We need to be allowed to speak, say what we want, where we want. Democracy needs to be real democracy, not in name but in how we practice it. We have been oppressed and silenced this morning.”
“We had Yasmin on her 21st birthday, she was the last to be arrested. She chose to spend her birthday standing up for her rights to protest. She’s now spending her birthday in the cells.”
“Is this what democracy looks like?”
At time of going to press, #occupydemocracy supporters who had not been arrested made their way to Charing Cross and Paddington police stations to offer support.
Complaints about Police behaviour can be made by calling +44 (0) 20 7230 1212, whether you saw the scenes in person or in videos, whether you live in the UK or abroad.