Peace campaigners evicted from Parliament Square in London

By staff writers
July 20, 2010

Police moved in at 1am this morning to evict the Democracy Village peace protesters who have been camping in Parliament Square since May 2010.

However, the legal injunction against the demonstrators by London mayor Boris Johnson failed to include long-term protestor Brian Haw, a Christian peace activist.

Mr Haw remains in his tent surrounded by six-foot high security fences to keep others out. He alleges that the police and anonymous public officials have maintained a campaign of intimidation and violence against him.

Mr Johnson has described the Democracy Village, which has been highlighting Britain's damaging involvement in military activities ranging from Afghanistan and Iraq to Sri Lanka, as well as climate change issues, as "nauseating" and "an eyesore'.

But civil rights campaigners say that the legal, police and political action against the protests is an abrogation of democratic rights.

Brian Haw, from Redditch, Worcestershire, who has camped there since 2001, successfully fought to be allowed to continue his protest after it was made illegal to hold an unauthorised protest within a square mile of Parliament in 2007.

Democracy Village protest organiser Chris Knight said: "This is part of a much wider protest. We're not going very far and we're not going away."

A wave of further demonstrations dubbing "Operation Rolling Thunder" has been promised.

Bailiffs and police removed activists from tents, scaffolding and trees early this morning. Some protesters say they were handled violently.


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