Part of fenced off Britain.
Part of fenced off Parliament.
Another part of fenced off Parliament.
some people will no doubt be highlighting the hypocrisy of a mandela statue being placed in parliament square, the place where freedom of expression and freedom of assembly have been curtailed by the 'serious organised crime and police act 2005' which imposes restrictions on protest near parliament. this law has led to a harrasment campaign of mind-blowing proportions against the handful of protestors intent on bringing blair, brown and others to justice for their part in the decimation of iraq. (see previous indymedia reports especially relating to barbara tucker and of course, brian haw).
when gordon brown seized power he sent out a press release stating that he would 'review' the anti-protest laws in his first 100 days in office. he hasn't. the law still stands, it is still being used. one man, milan rai, is in jail currently for organising a protest in which he read out the names of the dead opposite downing street in october 2005 along with one other person, maya evans. his refusal to pay fines arising from that conviction has resulted in the one month imprisonment.
nelson mandela is a 20th century icon. he was a man who stood up to the power of the state, who believed in freedom and equal rights for all, and who was outlawed for many years both in his own state and by world leaders including our own prime minister, margaret thatcher, who branded him as a terrorist.
we have shown throughout history that yesterday's 'terrorists' and law-breakers often go on to become today's 'freedom fighters' and icons for justice. unfortunately, they sometimes then go on to become part of the very establishment they would have scorned in years gone by.
if nelson mandela is genuinely unaware of the grimey recent history of parliament square, and of our state's sordid determination to silence and disappear the criticism of it's sickeningly evil deeds in iraq and afghanistan, then it is important that at 11am tomorrow, he must be made aware!
i hope many many more people feel this way and will go to the square as individuals to shout out and make sure he hears. i already know many who will be there.
one person has officially notified the police of their demonstration (as required by the 'socpa' law). it will be a legitimate plea to mandela asking him to assist in the return of brian haw's property which was stolen on the 23rd may 2007 in what the high court has agreed was an unlawful seizure.
under the serious organised crime and police act, the police MUST authorise, so come along and be part of that if nothing else.
The Office of Mr. Nelson Mandela
Tel: +27 (0)11 728 1000
Fax: +27 (0)11 728 1111
Postal address: Private Bag X70 000, Houghton, JOHANNESBURG, 2041