at the time of the original raid, the GLA claimed that the reason for the operation was to clear the square of an illegal encampment and to stop the problem of anti-social behaviour by some of the campers. they then said the fences would remain while the square was prepared for the unveiling of the mandela statue at the end of august ( http://publish.indymedia.org.uk/en/2007/08/379944.html) and ( http://publish.indymedia.org.uk/en/2007/08/380024.html).
but after mandela left, the fences stayed up.
the GLA then stated that they were there while work was carried out on the lawn and flower beds and for preparations for a statue of lloyd george.
but no-one has seen any work being carried out on the lawn, and at the time of the statement there was no planning permission for a lloyd george statue. the planning permission was then miraculously hurried through, but there has still been no work on the lawn.
several attempts to get further information from the GLA have been met by silence.
while the grass remains cordoned, there is very little room for legitimate protest outside government, and indeed burmese protestors this week were not only threatened under socpa legislation but also warned they were obstructing the pavement.
in the meantime we have heard in the media today that the government has instructed the police not to allow protests within a mile of parliament while the commons is in session ( http://publish.indymedia.org.uk/en/2007/09/382316.html). this, if true, would be unconstitutional and would be unlawful under the human rights act.
it is not proven whether the fencing is connected with further restrictions on protest or with the government's obsession to get rid of brian haw and other peace campaigners on its doorstep, but with the murky behaviour of the GLA, a connection certainly cannot be ruled out.
for the moment at least, a brave group of concerned citizens has taken our right of freedom into their own hands, and parliament square is once more open to the public and to peaceful protestors.
the campaign group 'peopleincommon' were planning a picnic in victoria tower gardens tomorrow afternoon, but are now hoping they can take up their rightful position in the square.
although not as pretty, idiosyncratic, or artistic as brian's original protest site, the fencing provides a safe, secure and somewhat larger area to hang banners than brian ever had!
during the afternoon, families have been once again enjoying the square in the sunshine and children have been cartwheeling on the grass.
a woman from the GLA made a brief visit but beat a hasty retreat.
there are currently just a few police keeping an eye on the continuous burmese protest that has formed there.
I would also imagine that because there is a march for Burma assembling at Trafalgar Square at 11:30 that a few may go there first and then be ready to move to arrive at the picnic venue for round about 1:00pm. Weather permitting of course!
See you there!
With food to... Share!
Parliament Behind Bars
Liberation Of Parliament Square
Police Adminsiter Hugs To Onlookers