PARLIAMENT SQUARE STATUES OCCUPIED BY DEMOCRACY ACTIVISTS

 
  • Parliament Sq to be occupied in “ten day festival of democracy”
  • Action announces movement’s core demands
  • Occupation programme highlights published

 

occupy democracy plinth

Photo: Drew McFadyen

Two statues in Parliament Square have been occupied since 3pm this afternoon by protestors in support of Occupy Democracy [1]. The activists are holding signs declaring some of the core demands of the peaceful pro-democracy movement.

The action comes ahead of Occupy Democracy’s ten-day “festival of democracy” which starts on Friday 1st May at 5pm and runs throughout the election in front of the Houses of Parliament.

 

The statues of Winston Churchill and Lloyd George have each been occupied by a person with a sign announcing Occupy Democracy’s six core demands for democratic reform [2] which are as follows:

 

  • Reform of party funding so that members of parliament act in the interests of those who elect them rather than the 1% who bankroll them
  • Major democratic reform of the media to break the stranglehold of vested interests
  • A fundamental overhaul of lobbying and the way powerful economic interests inhabit the corridors of power within government
  • The introduction of proportional representation so that everyone’s vote counts
  • MPs should not have conflicts of interests from either paid employment or corporate shareholdings.
  • A citizen-led constitutional convention for real democracy.

 

Standing on one of the statues, Occupy Democracy activist George Barda said:

 

“Democracy means more than putting a cross on a ballot paper every five years. History shows us that the extension of our democratic rights has not been led by politicians, but has been forced onto the agenda by the actions of mass movements such as the Chartists and the Suffragettes. We are asking people to join us and help build such a movement.”

 

To coincide with the action, Occupy Democracy has published highlights of its ten-day occupation of Parliament Square at http://occupydemocracy.org.uk/programme-may-1-10. The programme will include workshops, speakers, direct democracy, creative direct action and entertainment.

 

This latest plinth protest comes after “Plinthman” Danny occupied Winston Churchill’s statue for 28 hours [4] as part of Occupy Democracy’s inaugural ten-day protest in Parliament Square last October.

 

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Notes:

 

  1. Occupy Democracy is a social movement for democracy free from corporate control that works for people and planet. http://occupydemocracy.org.uk

 

  1. For more information about Occupy Democracy’s demands see: http://occupydemocracy.org.uk/demands/

 

  1. The programme for Occupy Democracy’s ten-day occupation of Parliament Square will bring together groups and individuals united in their conviction that there is an alternative. Student occupiers, UK Uncut campaigners and housing eviction resisters will all be sharing their stories, skills and knowledge and celebrating their resistance. Highlights include the American activist preacher Reverend Billy and The Stop Shopping Choir kick-starting the occupation at 5pm on May 1st and a guerrilla gardening flash mob who will ‘reclaim the commons’ on the 2nd. Workshops, walking tours and stunts will take place every day exposing the deficit that will remain in our democracy regardless of who gets in power.

 

  1. Lone protester spends night on Churchill statue surrounded by police in Parliament Square(London Evening Standard, Wednesday 22nd October).
 

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