in a very suspicious sequence of events, brian haw has been arrested in the darkness of the night and some of his display has been removed by police. the arrest follows what may have been a staged incident where a woman (who has been seen before around the square) attacked the display saying that she found it offensive. brian has apparently been arrested under a public order act part IV, and some of his display has been removed.
at around 5.20am this morning an unknown woman (who had been seen earlier talking to officers in parliament square) attacked brian's display and tried to pull down the washing line of bloodied baby clothes that forms part of it. police arrived at the scene in suspiciously fast time in several charing cross marked vans, and they immediately arrested brian under the public order act part IV ([4A intentional harassment, alarm or distress] under which a person is guilty of an offence if, with intent to cause a person harrassment, alarm or distress, he (b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting).
barbara tucker, who was staying overnight at the square, was prevented by police in her attempt to take a photograph of the woman concerned. they failed to give her any lawful explanation, but threatened her with arrest if she continued to try and photograph the woman, who was also taken away by police.
although the police were in charing cross vans, many of them were from belgravia, and officer 'ab922' seized the washing line of baby clothes claiming he was acting under orders of inspector fox and taking evidence of 'criminal damage', although it is unclear whether the woman has been arrested at all at this stage.
more news to follow.