Mike Wells | 18.10.2007 00:18 | London
Truck removes fencing from Parliament Square
Police are on hand to keep "peace"
Burmese agree to move their tents
Another damaged tent
In the same operation a fence that had been erected by the GLA for “maintenance purposes”, around Parliament Square was removed.
To my knowledge no maintenance was carried out while the fence surrounded the Square. Anti-war protesters have consistently argued that the fence was put there as a political act to force them from the Square. Protesters in Parliament Square also claim that the security firm hired by the GLA caused criminal damage to their tents as well as assaulting them.
According to a spokesperson for the protesters from the Burmese peace camp, also in Parliament Square, they were also asked to move their tents from the grassy area of Parliament Square, which they agreed to do.
The commanding officer of the Metropolitan Police at the scene claimed the their presence there during the operation was to keep the peace.
The use of private security companies to carry out this kind of operation could be seen as a mirror image of what is happening in Iraq. Some private security companies in the UK are now carrying warrant cards and have the power of arrest. Though the “legitimate” use of violence by state actors is unpalatable the recent expansion and delegation of the use of “legitimate violence” by non-state actors, is likely to result complicated and multi-dimensional conflicts based on economic interest.