Category Archives: Liveblog

Talks in the Living Room

Hello.

our programme of speakers has now resumed with our new, custom made arena. row A= people sitting on carpet, row B = people sitting on the sofa, row C = people sitting on the Supreme Court windowsill. People also standing in the wings.

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our first speaker was Craig Murray, a whistleblower on the Uk’s extraordinary rendition programme, who discovered in the early 2000s that the MI5 was gaining intelligence from Uzbekhistan’s torture chambers, and sending people there to be tortured. Even when he sent the department pathology reports of how a man was boiled alive, he was told to stop ‘focussing too much on Human Rights’. The case to decide whether Jack Straw and others should be prosecuted over these historic abuses is ongoing.

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this led very well into a discussion on how the mainstream media is intent on keeping scandals like this, that begin to get to the heart of the establishment, out of public consciousness.

The talk was so successful that it kept the police at bay: it’s difficult for them not to be seen as interfering with the right to protest when we are so clearly using the space to facilitate discussion like this.

The programme continues!

Armchair Protesting

Spirits are high this morning. Banners are up and look great, and just now the occupiers have set up a mock living room outside the Supreme Court. We’re getting comfortable.

Not sure what the laws are regarding sofas are, and the bobbies don’t seem to either, but no change there. CALLOUT for a coffee table and lamp!

Last night’s one arrestee returned back and smiling with no charge.

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Occupy the Supreme Court

We’ve taken up residence outside the Supreme Court, relatively permanently it seems. Bit of an amphitheatre vibe. After a brief stand off with the police which resulted in one arrest, the collective will turns to the grander purpose of discussions and organisation and fixing the world etc.  general assembly now. Seems decided we’ll stay the night right here, just behind Parliament sq. discussion turns to tomorrow’s action. Emphasis will be on talks and working groups and hanging out and being happy and all that. Perhaps there’ll be a fun media-enticing action, who knows? Exciting!

Activity begins in earnest at midday but in the past the police have been most active early in the morning so the clarion call bids you to get down bright and early. If current mood persists it’ll be all smiles and camaraderie and fierce democratic purpose.

Location change & First general assembly

So, some of you might have seen the upgraded fencing around the square which, despite the GLA’s poe-faced claim last week that it was there to protect the grass, now includes most of the pavement, several pedestrian walkways and the statue of Nelson Mandela. A small blank space is to be especially protected from peaceful protesters, it seems: we are told it will be host to a statue of Ganhi.

Meanwhile, the square is filled with snarling police dogs.

After several maddening chats with Policemen, each of which supplied a different reason why we’d be arrested if we tried to access the square, but all of whom eventually told us to ‘speak to the heritage wardens’, we started to look to another way to exercise our rights to freely assemble, somewhere else.

People keen to find out what heritage wardens actually are, are directed to a website which says they’re there to ‘provide assistance during events’. Lol.

Protesters briefly spilled into the road, and then were briefly kettled until we regrouped on the green outside Downing Street. A GA now taking place is discussing what to do next. More to follow…

(and yes, people are sitting on tarp)

Preps for #occupydemocracy tonight

Hello speculative readers!

Welcome to the  liveblog!

First rule of the liveblog is: You may never refer to   without the hashtag. ‘Occupy Democracy’ is so last month, and now it’s  (apparently).  This is 2014 dissent, plus all the cool student activists are doing it.

Preparations are under way all over town in little creative corners for the move-in tonight. Where we are the breakthrough is we’ve finally found an efficient (though equipment intensive) way of cutting up tiny pieces of tape!

Craft knives anyone?

Craft knives anyone?

Can you guess what we're spelling...

Can you guess what we’re spelling…

We’re making some tarp bunting. One of the great lessons of last month was: pretty things are powerful. Last time the police took everything beautiful without explanation. They went straight for our bunting, our decoration, our hand-painted ‘Safer Spaces’ policy, and destroyed it all.

And especially if they’re going to make the place look ugly and threatening with those stupid fences, we think it’s worth making as many beautiful things as possible. (read: URGENT call out for properly creative people with a good eye for beauty — tape & tarp is about the limit of these bloggers’ arsenal).

Speaking of creating a mini-society where you’d actually want to spend time, tonight is also the place to be for brilliant stand-up from two exceptional comedians. Liam Williams and Ahir Shah, both of whom have finished solo runs at the Soho Theatre, are performing in Parliament Square for free, at 9pm. Last time they went down amazingly (though we were all a bit hysterical by then and probably would have laughed at a beer can falling over) and they’re smart, clever, and not afraid to wind up a few constables.

That said, most of the constables came over to watch and laugh like the rest of us.

Another reason to come down! See you in T minus six hours!

PS anyone who finds this sprightly tone annoying, it’s the product of delirious excitement and will surely be beaten out of us by Park Wardens/ the cold, so look forward to some more sober reporting from the ground, later.