UK Newswire Archive
80 days ago the democracy village set up on parliament square. Now it has gone. After losing the court hearing on 16th July (press release), and sending a call out to stand up for democracy, the eviction started just after 1pm on Monday night. The public square was fenced in and democracy out (pics | video), and the two people in D-locks couldn't stop this. No one was arrested, but calls were made for a day of non-violent direct action today and a people's assembly this Saturday 1pm.
See the democracy village newswire at
this is what democracy looks like
I arrived just before 6.30am on Tuesday, following the nighttime eviction.
Those villagers remaining were in good spirits and many passing drivers hooted their support, only a few called out 'Get a job!' To which the reply from the villagers was 'Get a life! The villagers are now on the pavement, in stark contrast to the other side of the road where all the laws are made. During the eviction several banners were stolen by the private security bailiffs who did the evicting while the police looked on.
Boris said he wanted the Square to be accessible to the public without tents getting in the way. So what did he do? He fenced off the whole area and put screens around it!
Off the grass and onto the pavement. Where next?
eviction over - huge green fences erected all round the grass, and even over some of pavement restricting access to the remaining pavement area where brian haw is. around 25 activists on the pavement there with little police presence.
after around four hours, last night's eveiction (reports and call-outs for action here and here) was over, and the GLA have now erected six feet fences all around the square and hidden the 'works' with green netting along the entire length of the fence.
there were no arrests, despite some active resistance in the form of d-locks and high occupations.
now, there are about 25 activists in the small area near brian haw, and earlier this morning they put traffic cones across the road. these were then removed by community support officers. police presence is again otherwise very low.
two people are locked on to a huge scaffolding edifice. people escorted off the square are coming back on with little trouble. an activist in on top of the 'peace strike' box with a megaphone. there are call-outs for civil disobedience tomorrow and a people's assembly on saturday.
the bbc jamcam has now been switched off "to keep london moving".
there are around 60 bailiffs in orange jackets trying to escort people off the square and also unloading a lorry with fencing for the square. (this is boris's idea of allowing tourists to enjoy this world heritage site as his legal team argued in court!).
for a while, one activist jumped on to the lorry that brought the fences, and he managed to dance on top for a while.
at least two people are locked on with d-locks around their necks. they are locked on to a large set of scaffolding erected by villagers with several car engines weighing the whole contraption down.
menawhile another activist has scaled the large box at the back of the kitchen area and is evading capture and using a megaphone.
there are reports that bailiffs dragged someone down from the scaffiolding in a dangerous manner, but this is the only report so far of violence. police are currently present in small numbers and are 'hands-off' for the moment.
the villagers have made two call-outs:
first, an immediate 'peace strike' tomorrow to join in a day of non-violent direct action around the square, downing street, and parliament. activists and media are encouraged to join them all day in affinity actions.
second, they intend to continue to hold the weekly saturday afternoon 'people's assemblies' that they inititated.
if the square is not available for a people's assembly between 1 and 5pm this saturday, then they are asking people to come instead to 'victoria towers gardens' which is a pleasant riverside park just west of westminster along millbank.
the square is fenced off. three activists remain in resistant positions. no arrests. brian haw still there, and unaffected by operation. villagers have declared two call-outs for action. tomorrow (tuesday) and on saturday.
the democracy village has now been almost evicted in an operation lasting more than three hours and involving about 50 bailiffs accompanied by around the same number of police.
the woman d-locked to the scaffolding A-frame has just been cut loose and escorted from the square. a man who had been on top of the kitchen area with a megaphone was surrounded and brought down about half an hour ago.
two people, a man and a woman, remain on top of the A-frame, and bailiffs are trying to get ladders up, but the ladders are being pushed away.
another man remians on top of a high pile of fences on the back of a lorry. again, he has managed to push away ladders and no bailiffs have been up with him, although the lorry driver did climb up and remonstrate with him for a while, threatening to drive off with him on board. fortunately, the driver did not carry out his threat.
the six foot high fences are in place around most of the square. brian haw's display remains intact and the fences dip inside the square where his provisions spill onto the square.
the villagers have made two call-outs in response to the eviction.
first, they are calling for an immediate day of non-violent direct action and 'peace strike' around the square, parliament and downing street. activists and media are encouraged to join them all day in affinity actions.
second, they intend to continue to hold the weekly saturday afternoon 'people's assemblies' that they inititated.
if the square is not available for a people's assembly between 1 and 5pm this saturday, then they are asking people to come instead to 'victoria towers gardens' which is a pleasant riverside park just west of westminster along millbank.from one o'clock, the assembly will plan its response to the eviction and will plan the next step in the process of stopping the afghanistan war, an aim with which the majority of the british population agrees.
20-07-2010 03:25around 150 people are around the square at the moment, including police, bailiffs, media and activists. equipment has been brought in to remove the d-locked activist. two more remain on the top of the A-frame scaffolding.
around 60 bailiffs from private security firm 'gemini' have begun the eviction of the democracy village tomight just after 1am
confirmed reports from the square that a huge bailiff operation has just begun a little after 1am
20-07-2010 02:31lock-ons still defending square. about 50 protestors still in the area, but square is being "cleaned up"
20-07-2010 01:38two people are locked on to a huge scaffolding edifice. people escorted off the square are coming back on with little trouble. an activist in on top of the 'peace strike' box with a megaphone. there are call-outs for
1 civil disobedience tomorrow and
2 a people's assembly on saturday.
20-07-2010 00:261.10am Just heard from Maria in Parliament Square that about 60 bailiffs have turned up and will be starting the eviction. The police are looking on the the moment.
20-07-2010 00:23around 60 bailiffs from 'gemini' security have just arrived to commence eviction of the democracy village in parliament square
19-07-2010 21:22Bristol Palestine Solidarity Campaign writes: Johnny Rotten's gig in Bristol on Tuesday 20th July is his first outside London at the start of his tour. This is the chance for Bristol to set the agenda for the rest of the UK. Join us on the Peace vigil on the Centre 5-6pm or meet 6.30 pm onwards outside the O2 Academy Frogmore Street, (off the Centre) BS1 5NA
Johnny Rotten's gig in Bristol on Tuesday 20th July is his first outside London at the start of his tour. This is the chance for Bristol to set the agenda for the rest of the UK. Join us on the Peace vigil on the Centre 5-6pm or meet 6.30 pm onwards outside the O2 Academy Frogmore Street, (off the Centre) BS1 5NA
Former Sex Pistols frontman, Johnny Rotten is on a European Tour culminating with a headline appearance in Tel Aviv.
Palestine campaigners are appalled and are planning to picket his concerts. But Johnny (Lydon) Rotten has hit back. Reported in the Jewish Chronicle and other Israeli media he says “he will not give in to his critics”
Artists who have already cancelled gigs in Israel include:-
Carlos Santana, Elvis Costello, The Pixies, The Klaxons, The Gorillas, and Gil Scott-Heron. Dustin Hoffman & Meg Ryan are boycotting the Israeli film festival. Last week rock legends Pink Floyd reunited for a Palestine benefit concert.
Let's tell Johnny which side he should be on! We say cancel this gig now - Don’t support Apartheid Israel
Email your opposition to
Johnny’s website: firstname.lastname@example.org
His agent: email@example.com
His company: firstname.lastname@example.org
| "Johnny Rotten you ain’t no human being if u play the Israeli fascist regime" http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=137938606218216 | Bristol Palestine Solidarity Campaign http://www.bristolpsc.info | Gaza Article on Bristol Indymedia |
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19-07-2010 20:45The Democracy Village in Parliament Square is being evicted tonight at 1.00 by bailiffs backed up by the Territorial Army. All supporters and interested spectators are urged to go down to lend their support. Spread the word. I can assure you that this is their intention, they are doing this on Monday night because they think there will be very few people there.
19-07-2010 20:22critically acclaimed French film about the situation for migrants in Calais and the realities of the border regime. Text or call the No Borders phone on to find out where...07909172767 food from 8pm, film after
Despite some Bristolians being arrested for offering practical solidarity with migrants in Calais, we will continue to resist.. come along and find out about the campaign and what you can do locally!
Welcome is a story of personal challenge in the face of discriminatory laws, red tape and enforcement.
A 17-year old Kurdish refugee named Bilal (played by novice actor Firat Ayverdi) is coached by a swimming instructor who hopes to prepare the young man for the challenge of swimming the English Channel. Bilal's dream is to join his girlfriend and play for Manchester United.
Calais, where the film was set, has been a gathering point for immigrants hoping to make it across the English Channel.
The director of the film, Philippe Lioret, went so far as to compare the ordeal experienced by many migrants in France with the plight of Jews in Nazi-occupied France during the Second World War.
In reference to the French laws that threaten people who help migrants the director had this to say to the newspaper La Voix du Nord: "To see that a decent guy can all of a sudden be charged and that he can go to prison is crazy... It feels like it’s 1943 and we’ve hidden a Jew in the basement."
The comparison has angered the French Immigration minister, Eric Besson, who said Lioret has "crossed a red line" in an effort to generate publicity for the film.
Besson might argue with the comparison but the truth is a hellish situation faces migrants who end up in Calais. Since the closure of the Red Cross-run Sangatte center back in 2002, no substantial improvements have been made. During the winter local authorities caved-in and provided indoor facilities, but this was only because they didn't want to risk press stories about frozen bodies lying around on the street.
It is not only the French government who are responsible for this situation, they are working with the UKBA and our government at every turn.