• James added the event another test sometime ago

  • James added the event test event sometime ago

  • police
    Occupy London are calling out for evidence and witness statements from those who attended the #occupydemocracy protest in Parliament Square between the 17th and 26th October. Those of you who attended at some point will have been aware of the escalating police presence, the erection of fencing and a number of arrests that were made at different points throughout the week.
    We are asking for those who attended the protest to give a statement detailing their experience. You can do this through the form provided through the link at the bottom of this page.
    We would like to know:

    Why you went to the #occupydemocracy protest.
    When you first arrived. Did you return? If so, when?
    What happened whilst you were there. Try to be as detailed as you can – referring to times if possible.
    What you took from the time that you were there.

    If you were arrested during your time at the protest, or if you observed anyone actually being arrested, we would like to know:

    The date and time of the arrest(s).
    What happened on the run up to the arrest(s).
    Whether there was any interaction between you and the police prior to, during or after the arrest(s)- what was said?
    Describe the arrest and police tactics during the arrests. If you know who was arrested please provide their name(s).

    If you have any photos of video of the arrest(s) please provide links to these in the relevant boxes.
    Most of those arrested were arrested for failing to comply with a bye-law. This bye-law doesn’t actually include a power of arrest but does require a person to give a name and address if an authorised person has reasonable grounds to believe that person is in breach of a bye-law. The Police do have the power to arrest if a person doesn’t give these details. The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (PRSRA) also makes it an offence to fail to comply with a direction given by the Police Officer or other authorised persons to remove tents or equiptment that might assist in sleeping.
    Powers under the bye-law and PRSRA are discretionary and should only be used when it is deemed necessary and proportionate. Case law, most recently the Gallastegui case in 2012, found that this discretion under PRSRA, whilst only exercised in exceptional circumstances, should be available if there is a compelling enough reason. [1]
    Your statements and evidence will help us challenge whether the Police response to #occupydemocracy was necessary and proportionate. It may also help us argue that such a response was an unjustified interference with the right to protest.
    All statements and evidence submitted will be kept private and will only be accessible by those at Occupy London who are working to collate it, Green and Black Cross and the legal teams working on the various defence cases. If the statement or evidence you give is of particular interest to the legal teams they may contact you for further information.
    If you would like to give a statement, or submit evidence, please visit witness.occupylondon.org.uk
    Please make sure you change the date and time below the Statement Description box so it reflects the date and time the Statement relates to. Also, tick any categories relevant to your statement.
    We appreciate your help with this,
    Kind Regards,
    Matthew Varnham
    Legal Advisor, Occupy London
    [1] Paragraph 23, http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2013/28.html&query=Gallastegui&method=boolean

  • Remember remember the 5th of November, gunpowder, treason and BBC blackout! and so it was last night as thousands of UK Anons congregated in London’s Trafalgar Sq. the fourth annual Anonymous ‘Night of activism’ the so called Million Mask March. Anonymous had announced their intention to march to Parliament Square and in the words of one Anon “see a MASSIVE Anonymous blockade of London City”.

    Sat with multiple browser tabs open, showing the live broadcasts from the mainstream media I waited in anticipation for the event, but as each hourly news update arrived I became ever more stunned at the silence, not a single channel aired a moments coverage! Although I have been informed the BBC had a snippet at 6:30pm. Twitter and social media were however, very different a media storm no less; with hashtagged updates so frequent it was impossible to keep up. Live streams, analysis and comment were carried by RT.com and by mutliple protestors on the ground via bambuser.com live streaming.

    The lack of on the ground reporting by the mainstream media drew immediate comparison to the Occupy London protests at Parliament Square the week before. One has to ask why organisations such as the BBC so adept at bringing us on location, minute by minute updates on stories of such national importance as the colour of a celebrities wedding dress, had no journalist was on the ground to ask a protester ‘what’s this all about then?’

    During the time of the Occupy protest I submitted a complaint to the BBC to express my disbelief at the lack of reporting and promptly received a reply stating that they had covered the events, and on three separate occasions none the less! A little research on the broadcasts revealed the most scant of stories buried on the London regional website & radio and a single national story; none of which offered anything by way of analysis of the protests themselves. The BBC was content with three short mentions, detailing little more than public disorder.

    Fast forward to the Million Masks March and the BBC repeated its strategy: putting out a regurgitated summary of public disorder offences, arrest statistics and some sound bites about protester violence, adding in a single line on the justification for protest then within 36 hours burying the story in the depths of its website.

    Why? Its motivation I will not guess at, it would quickly descend into what BBC defenders would label conspiracy, but its strategy seems simple. List just enough to be able to fend off complaints against it and its obligation as set out in the trusts code of conduct. If I raise a complaint about the lack of coverage, citing the obvious importance of the protests, the BBC can now defend the complaint on the grounds it did indeed cover the protest and has a web link to prove it.

    But is that enough?

    Is that enough for the BBC to claim it is doing its job impartially? No, no and no….. Even the Telegraph, not exactly left leaning, managed to offer a balanced appraisal of the protest and its motivations. The footage and audio from the Telegraph piece actually shows a coherent and dignified voice from the Anon protestors, people who have genuine motivations to protest and who do not believe that voting at the ballot box is the way forward.

    So what would the BBC have learned had it put reporters on the ground rather than staring blankly at monitors at HQ, as hundreds of masked protesters literally banged on the windows after Anons decided that if the Beeb wouldnt go to them they’d go to the Beeb?

    They would have discovered what the establishment seems so keen to ignore, normal people with a multitude of agendas, congregated under one banner Anonymous. A leaderless group targeting everything from #OpIsrael & the apartheid in Palestine to #OpSafeWinter which aims to protect the most vulnerable in society from hunger and cold. And these ‘Ops’ are attracting people never before engaged in politics or charity. Not in my lifetime has such an organic ground swell manifested in collective disobedient action, catalysed by the internets power of communication.

    And people came, with large red anarchy flags swaying next to ‘Free Palestine’ flags. Throngs chanted “One Solution, Revolution” others chanted “Whose streets? Our Streets” yet others stood silent holding banners reading ‘ Free Assange’ or ‘Banks shouldn’t write laws’ or a multitude of anti corporate, anti corruption, anti war messages one simply stated ‘Share the love’.

    One protesters conversation with the police caught on camera and streamed live to the web ended with “we’ve got no problem with you. We love and respect what you do for us. Our problem is with them… (pointing to Parliament) You lot are people, and we are people”. Another protester, having given up his anonymity mask on top his head; revealed tears of frustration at the police attempts to arrest the protest. Conversation with a riot officer ensued before they embraced then shook hands before he returned to the group sitting in on Westminster Bridge and awaited eviction.

    Commentators will I’m sure be quick to label the Anons yesterday as yobs comparable to the drunken louts found in city centers on a Friday night. Yes there was unrest, some simply inexcusable, but holding that assertion to the majority simply doesnt stand. Footage from Bambuser showed protesters effectively self policing remonstrating with those that knocked over bins or acted in a way that others perceived as violent or threatening to passers by. There were those whose stated aim was confrontation with the police, but the majority people of all ages with a mesh of agendas, collectively protested at the status quo of political, economical and humanitarian injustice, angrily but peacefully.

    And they are angry, using social media Anonymous sent a message directly to world government stating “To oppressive governments, we say this: we do not expect our campaign to be completed in a short time frame. However, you will not prevail against the angry masses of the body politic.” saying they [the British Government] have “made an enemy of Anonymous” and that they have “angered them considerably”.

    And what of the future for Anonymous and of the Million Mask March? will it be a flash in the pan and fizzle out? I for one don’t think so… The Anon movement has grown year on year and November 5th, 2015 will undoubtedly be a bigger event than this year.

    Security agencies have already claimed to have taken out the ring leaders of anonymous web hacktivism but it only serves to prove the point that anonymous are misunderstood. They are fluid; dissipating and coalescing at seemingly random stimuli, taking whatever direction the majority chooses, unpredictable and leaderless just ask the MET, they tried to talk to Anonymous and found out that, well, that they are just that, anonymous.

    Since writing this article, @BBCNews trending has released a 1min13sec video from inside the BBC HQ stating that Anonymous protesters are angry at the BBC for lack of coverage. They go on to claim that as protesters are self publishing on social media the events are being covered. As I am sure the BBC is aware this does not represent national coverage and they are missing the point somewhat!

    Tom Donaghey


    Tom is an OccupyLondon supporter and self proclaimed pacifist.



    By Elsa Buchanan

    Crossposted from The London Economics

    You may not know, but under a law called the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act (PRSRA) 2011, the local authority for the City of Westminster in London has the power to confiscate items that could be used for “sleeping” or “staying” in the square. More, the use of amplification, banners and even tarpaulins, is also illegal.

    And the very law that the authorities are using to regulate peaceful protestations and the police’s role in this touristic area of Central London, could be breaching human rights.

    This is what believes Paul Ridge, a Partner in the Public Law and Human Rights Department at Bindmans, a London leading law firm.

    “What I would like to see is a total removal of these by-laws. But how that is achieved is up in the air. The double standards, sometimes of the media, praising what is going on in Hong Kong, and the irony that people in Hong Kong may have more rights to protest than people outside our Parliament, is worrying. Deeply worrying,” Ridge explains.

    His comments follow a police crackdown on the peaceful occupation and protest, dubbed the #tarpaulinrevolution and #occupydemocracy on Twitter, which had decided to stage a nine-day protest on the Parliament Square.


    The sleeping bag that violates the law

    Protestors there say the whole idea behind the occupation is using the space for debates and to tackle issues not discussed in the mainstream media.

    However, every day, after night falls, dozens of police officers swoop on the protestors, confiscating sleeping bags, sheets, inflatable mattresses, backpacks, dry clothes, coats, plastic bin bags, and even empty cardboard boxes.

    Law firm Partner Ridge explains: “In practice, the PRSRA law devolves the judgment calls to individuals on the street, police officers, heritage wardens, the Greater London Authority (GLA) officers to interpret the law. They will take items that are perfectly legitimate like a coat, or a piece of tarpaulin where one might want to sit on to have a discussion group, or a forum. Yet, the GLA and the officers, without any judicial sanctions, or without any control of the courts, confiscate items. I think we are now seeing essentially them abusing that power.”

    Merel Prescott, 53, a protestor and qualified maths teacher from Newport, South Wales has been laying on the pavement surrounding Parliament square with her 16-year-old daughter Emily, since day one. Both their bags were confiscated on the third night. Emily draws a list of items confiscated from protestors – items deemed to violate the PRSRA.

    “Umbrellas were confiscated because they were “structures”. A portable mattress was dragged out from beneath my mother even after we informed the police she was disabled. Sleeping bags were also taken away. Not to mention empty pizza boxes.”


    And Prescott adds: “My daughter’s bag contained my medication [Prescott has a disability]. I had a tent and a megaphone with no batteries in my bag, but even if there were no batteries they took the whole bag, which also contained my coat, my purse, socks and dry clothes. I still believe it was illegally seized.”

    While her bag was returned on the condition that she “didn’t abuse the use of any of the items”, Prescott daughter’s bags still haven’t reappeared.

    “I was told to go to a station in Kensington [West London] to get mine back, but when I got there and demanded it was handed back, the officer looked confused and told me they hadn’t seen it. I informed the police about it. I am still waiting to get my bag back. It’s a mystery where all the things that were seized are. According to the act it could take up to 28 days before I get my stuff back.”

    Meanwhile, other protestors confirmed the authorities have told them their belongings would only be handed back “at the end of the protest”.

    As she lays on the pavement, a heritage warden kneels down to speak to the 53-year-old. As Prescott insists she is disabled, the officer asks her to show him the sleeping bag she is keeping her legs warm with.

    With her faltering voice she explains to anyone who will listen, “They are warning me that I mustn’t use a sleeping bag as a sleeping aid. But I’m not sleeping; I’m speaking to you and using it as an aid to keep warm. That makes no sense.”


    A ban on protests

    For Ridge, who acted for long-time Peace Campaigner Maria Gallastegui in the now-famous 2012 Court cases during which she argued the laws violated her rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly under the European Convention on Human Rights, the difficulty with the PRSRA is precisely that the sleeping equipment definition is open to interpretation.

    “Obviously, a tent or a sleeping bag are sleeping equipments built and designed for sleeping. But let’s say a Japanese tourist fell asleep on a hot day in Parliament Square, would you say that the clothes that tourist was wearing suddenly becomes a sleeping equipment?”

    “The definition has been stretched to incredible lengths. Now, if someone fell asleep and they happen to have a coat covering them, suddenly the coat becomes sleeping equipment. That seems to me to be an abuse of the language of the act.”

    This view is shared by George Barda, a social and environmental justice campaigner who shot to fame during the Occupy London protests when he spent weeks camping in St Paul’s Churchyard.

    “The scandal of this law, and this is a huge and increasing problem, is that it is worded so absurdly openly that it pretty much allows totally arbitrary policing. The law itself is clearly an anti-protest law that any kind of credible justice system would have shot down,“ he says.

    “If the Courts allow protests 24 hours a day, seven days a week and it is a legitimate activity but that you cannot have shelter, it is a breach of human rights in terms of that provision. Under this law, you can do this thing [protest] but you are not entitled your human rights [shelter] while you do it.”

    By-laws to the PRSRA, including the GLA’s Parliament Square by-laws 2012, also prohibit the use of displayed signs, banners, flags and loudspeakers within the square.

    Matt Bonner, a 32 year old a freelance graphic designer from London who has spent every night since Friday on the green with the exception on Sunday confirms the police presence has been continuous.

    “At 7am on Saturday as a new [police officer] shift came in, a canvas on which was outlined our ‘Safe Spaces Policy’, a 1.5 square meters canvas, was confiscated. We were left with very little. It is a sad irony that they decided we could have no written material. Even our plain yellow bunting, which was made by a couple of protestors, was destroyed. We’re literally obliged to reinvent things every day and every night.”

    Further, the fifth paragraph of the PRSRA also dictates that if you want to protest, you need to get written permission.

    “This is what I find so offensive,” says Ridge

    And he is not alone. After the United Nation General Assembly’s special rapporteur report on 17 June 2013 looked into the freedom of assembly and association in the UK, the UN voiced grave concerns about the by-laws and restrictions placed around Parliament Square.

    “The UN was offended that you have to go to the state to ask permission to protest against it. Again, the removal of banners is a removal of the integral point of a protest. If you remove that, those wanting to make a point about inequality and distribution of wealth can’t even make it,” Ridge adds.

    “Even if a banner falls under a by-law, I have huge concerns about the removal of banners and I do think it is an abuse of the by-laws and certainly I share the concerns of the UN. Peaceful assembly is a long standing British right and it is abused when you remove somebody’s banner.”

    Campaigner Barda says he was forcefully dragged off the square on the fifth day of protest. This was to enable police forces to erect metal fences around the entirety of the square “so the GLA can carry out some maintenance work” on the grass.

    “Consequently, dragging me off that undamaged bit of square without explanation or providing me with any other justification other than the damage to the grass where I was not sitting on, was clearly a travesty and a breach of my human rights of speech and movement.”

    Barda asserts there have been breaches on both sides of the law, and confirms he intends to take his case to court.

    “The law as it stands allows all sorts of breaches of human rights of the right to assemble and protest freely, the right to shelter, the right of free speech via amplification systems in a noisy environment,” he continues.


    Political policing

    In 2012, when Ridge stated that the new act would serve as a ban on protests during Gallastegui’s Appeal, the government argued that protests were not banned.

    “At the time, the government pointed to an example of Barbara Tucker who was maintaining a 24h presence on the square by sleeping in a chair under a golfing umbrella. They claimed this was an example of somebody protesting. But now, when somebody is, for example sitting in a chair or has a coat covering them, they say [that person is] breaking the law for having sleeping equipment.”

    Ridge continues: “I am concerned the Court of Appeal has been misled, and that the police are now engaged in political policing. This is not a genuine response to civil problems. It’s actually political policing. If the demonstration was there to say ‘We are campaigning for more funds for the Royal Family’, one wonders whether they would have the same level of opposition from the police and the heritage wardens”.

    He takes the example of the Royal Wedding, during which people would camp on Parliament Square, and wait to get a spot, and nobody removed a tent.

    Carrying her five and a half months old son Luca, demonstrator Maria Sanders, 25, says the protestors are “not been given the chance to sit and discuss in this square as we would like to, because we are not allowed a shelter, we are not allowed somewhere to sit down that is dry to be able to have those conversations”.

    Instead, the young mother, who grew up in Herefordshire before moving to London, says demonstrators are mentally fighting with the police on a day-to-day basis. “But that is their choice and it is bringing more attention [to us]. We are still managing”, she concedes.


    “It does seem that judgements have been made about the nature and the type of the protest,” Ridge believes. “And rather than the police and heritage wardens facilitating lawful activity, actually they are trying to use the act and twist the act to prohibit lawful activity.”

    While allegations of brutality by the police on the third night have been widely discussed on social media – videos and photos of the event show police using pressure-points on the protestors and young Emily confirms she witnessed a young woman being dragged by the front of her hair by a police officer – campaigner Barda explains most of the “brutality” has happened at night.

    “When it was more difficult for people to see and there are fewer people in the square. That is not a new thing, and they always do the dodgy stuff in the middle of the night.”

    He insists: “From the beginning, it’s important to say that the only breaches of peace have been triggered by the authorities, and even though they have been incredibly provocative and attacking us, at no point have they suggested that we have breached the peace. We’ve remained peaceful, we’ve remained democratic, we’ve remained reasonable. The brutality is all theirs.”

    When contacted, a spokesperson for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the non-departmental public body which monitors human rights said, “If anybody thinks their human rights have been breached they should contact the Equality Advisory Support Service or a lawyer in the first instance. The Commission is unable to comment without knowing all of the facts.”


    It is also worth mentioning that legal observers such as Glyn Jukes are present on the square on the behalf of the Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol). The team also acts on the behalf of Green & Black Cross [GBC] Legal, which is not a legal firm per se, but recommends solicitors known to have significant experience in representing protesters.

    While he could not comment on his observations, Jukes confirmed he is part of a co-ordinated team of trained volunteer legal observers seeking to monitor public order, protest and street policing, and making notes about what they get up to.

    The Metropolitan Police wish not to comment, but explained officers were present “to prevent a Breach of the Peace”.

  • Phone: 07751445132 / 07745651634 / 07424934658 / 07590 405 810
    Email:  occupylsx@gmail.com
    Twitter: #occupydemocracy / @occupydemocracy / @occupylondon
    NB. Pictures/video are available, plus interviews with people from the occupation can be arranged

    #OccupyDemocracy: Churchill plinth occupied almost 24 hours; mass demo 6pm Thursday, Arrested Green Jenny Jones plus Caroline Lucas MP to speak today

        •    As the Parliament Square occupation enters day 6 – despite draconian policing – the Churchill plinth has been respectfully occupied by an #occupydemocracy protestor now for almost 24 hours, with around 150 protestors on the grass verge of the Square last night
        •    Protestors call for people to join mass assembly 6pm this Thursday for the renewal of our democracy
        •    Ongoing packed line up of events, including at 5:30pm today Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and Baronness Jenny Jones (chairwoman of the London assembly’s economy committee and deputy chair of its police and crime committee) – who was arrested yesterday on Parliament Square, then de-arrested
        •    Authorities disrupting and tormenting – not facilitating – peaceful protest.




    Following more than 20 arrests yesterday at #occupydemocracy at Parliament Square, the reoccupation and eviction of the protestors from the central Square, the occupation continues with one protestor ‘occupying’ Churchill’s plinth respectfully, even leading a yoga session this morning.  Around 150 protestors took part in last night’s general assembly and about 30 people staying overnight on the grass verge on the Square. [1]By 3pm today, the Churchill plinth will have been occupied 24 hours
    Danny, who is up on the Churchill plinth holding a placard, which states: “The revolution will not be confiscated” said: “I’m up here because Churchill is a symbol is freedom and we’ve had our freedom to protest removed, with no proper explanation why. The rights of the damaged area of grass to regrow this week – rather than next week after our protest – has been deemed to be of more importance than our rights to assemble and protest, even though a significant area of the Square is intact.”Today 5.30pm – Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and Baronness Jenny Jones to speak
    As part of the ongoing packed line up of events, today at 5:30pm Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and Baronness Jenny Jones (chairwoman of the London assembly’s economy committee and deputy chair of its police and crime committee) – who was arrested yesterday on Parliament Square, then de-arrested when the Police realised who she was – will be in attendance and speaking. Other speakers include Jeremy Leggett (Solar Century, Carbon Tracker) and Asad Rehman (Friends of the Earth). The full programme of events can be found at http://occupydemocracy.org.uk/#programme.Political tormentative policing – call for mass demo 6pm Thursday
    Protestors observe that an expensive, heavy-handed political policing operation is being utilised which sees the Metropolitan Police and the Heritage Wardens – run by a private security firm on behalf of the Greater London Authority. Working in concert they are disrupting peaceful protest with an ongoing and constant campaign on harassment, physically, mentally and emotionally – which is very much at odds with the Police’s insistence that they are ‘facilitating’ the protest.Disruption of peaceful protest includes, never-mind the acts of violence against people:
    •    Removing amplification equipment, sleeping equipment, sundry items such as umbrellas, tarpaulin, cardboad, and personal items including phones, shawls
    •    Evicting and arresting people sitting on the square
    •    And finally fencing off the square.

    As such, with mood on the Square resolute, the occupation’s General Assembly with around 150 protestors, have called for a show of solidarity with a mass demonstarion and assembly in the defence of democracy in the UK for 6pm Thursday on Parliament Square. Speakers will include performance artist Mark McGowan (aka The Artist Taxi Driver), human rights activist Peter Tatchell plus there will be a supper feast (bring food).

    The protestors have also urged members of the public to register their complaints about Police behaviour by calling +44 (0) 20 7230 1212, whether you saw the scenes in person or in videos, whether you live in the UK or abroad.

    1. http://occupydemocracy.org.uk/


    [caption id="attachment_46941" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]George Barda - Occupy Democracy organizer tries to reason with police.  George Barda – Occupy Democracy organizer tries to reason with police.[/caption]

  • Phone: 07751445132 / 07745651634 / 07424934658
    Email:  occupylsx@gmail.com
    Twitter: #occupydemocracy / @occupydemocracy / @occupylondon
    NB. Pictures/video are available, plus interviews with people from the occupation can be arranged

    Breaking: London #OccupyDemocracy protestors retake Parliament Square despite up to 30 arrests this morning

    London #occupydemocracy protestors are trying to reoccupy Parliament Square, despite police attempting to violently crush the protest – which is calling for urgent reforms to our bankrupt democracy – by arresting 20-30 people and removing all equipment and personal items at 11am this morning. 

    Currently the scene is tense between Police and protestors, with news coming in that more arrests are beginning.
    Notably Baroness Jenny Jones of Moulescoomb was amongst the arrestees earlier, until she was dearrested once the Police realised who she was. Donnachadh McCarthy, the whistleblowing former Deputy Chair of the Liberal Democrats and author of The Prostitute State was also arrested.

    In attempting to retake the Square, the protestors say that they are resolute and refuse to be silenced by the ongoing physical and emotional torment that the Metropolitan Police and the Heritage Wardens have been putting them through, at the behest of the GLA and the Government.

    The #occupydemocracy occupation, which has so far seen thousands of prople supporting them in their call for real democracy across its 4 days on Parliament Square, with around 50-150 occupying the Square overnights, is demanding reforms to our democratic process so that it serves the public interest, rather than the interests of corporations, banks and a tiny wealthy elite. 

    Speaking about the arrests and events this morning, Labour MP John McDonnell who came quickly to observe said: “I have contacted the Metropolitan Police Commission to condem the disproportionately large number of police officers used to break up what was simply a group of largely young people who wish to use the venue of Parliament square for a time limited period to engage in political discussion. It’s what we call democracy.”


    Baroness Jenny Jones of Moulescoomb who was quickly on the scene was herself arrested until police realised who she was. She said: “I have never been arrested before and I didn’t expect it now. It was rough and I’m very shaken up. I am proud to say that my first arrest was in support of Occupy London, Occupy Democracy and everything they stand for.”

    Shortly before he was arrested, Dan Ashman, now in a cell in Charing Cross Police station said: “This is not democracy, nothing is transparent. We’ve got secret trade deals like TTIP threatening our democracy, fracking going ahead without our consent, NHS privatisation and rapidly increasing inequality. Nobody voted for any of this. We need to stand up and fight for the things that matter. We need to be allowed to speak, say what we want, where we want. Democracy needs to be real democracy, not in name but in how we practice it. We have been oppressed and silenced this morning.”

    “We had Yasmin on her 21st birthday, she was the last to be arrested. She chose to spend her birthday standing up for her rights to protest. She’s now spending her birthday in the cells.”

    “Is this what democracy looks like?”

    At time of going to press, #occupydemocracy supporters who had not been arrested made their way to Charing Cross and Paddington police stations to offer support. 

    Complaints about Police behaviour can be made by calling +44 (0) 20 7230 1212, whether you saw the scenes in person or in videos, whether you live in the UK or abroad.


  • Jenny JonesBy Robert Booth

    Crossposted from the Guardian


    Police have arrested 15 demonstrators at Parliament Square including, for a brief period, the Green Party politician Jenny Jones.

    Jones, chairwoman of the London assembly’s economy committee and deputy chair of its police and crime committee, went to see what was happening at the Occupy London protest on Tuesday morning after her office had been contacted by protesters complaining about heavy-handed police tactics.

    Jones was apparently quickly released by police because, she said, “they don’t want more trouble”.


    Police have arrested 15 demonstrators at Parliament Square including, for a brief period, the Green Party politician Jenny Jones.

    Jones, chairwoman of the London assembly’s economy committee and deputy chair of its police and crime committee, went to see what was happening at the Occupy London protest on Tuesday morning after her office had been contacted by protesters complaining about heavy-handed police tactics.

    Jones was apparently quickly released by police because, she said, “they don’t want more trouble”.

    “They shouldn’t have arrested anybody here,” she said. “They should have just listened and left them alone.”

    According to its website, the goal of the Occupy Democracy campaign is to “direct the energy from current single-issue struggles into a critical mass that can radically challenge the corrupt and unrepresentative system”.

    Jones is on Wednesday due to give an address to the protesters on policing and civil liberties. She went to the protest on Tuesday after hearing that the police had arrived in as many as eight vans and their response to the protest was “disproportionate”.

    Jenny Jones goes down for defending the right to protest !!!!!! #occupydemocracy pic.twitter.com/jzSaG55xsL

    — Occupy London (@OccupyLondon) October 21, 2014

    The swoop by police follows a crackdown on Sunday night when large numbers of officers converged on the square to enforce a “desist notice”.

    Scotland Yard said in a statement on Tuesday: “This morning there were around 15 people demonstrating in Parliament Square. The group on the grassed area had been sleeping on a tarpaulin which is prohibited under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act of 2011, namely they have items with them to enable them to sleep in Parliament Square.

    “We informed them of the breach of legislation and asked them to leave, this was done on a one-to-one basis. They were told that if they failed to leave they would be removed from the site and would be liable to summons for the offence.

    “The tarpaulin has been removed and 15 people have been arrested for failing to provide details suitable for a summons. They have been taken to a central London police station. Our role is to facilitate peaceful protest whilst balancing the needs of London communities and minimising any disruption. We will not take sides, but we seek to apply the law fairly and proportionately.”




  • tarpPhone: 07751445132 / 07745651634 / 07424934658
    Email:  occupylsx@gmail.com
    Twitter: #occupydemocracy / @occupydemocracy / @occupylondon
    NB. Pictures/video are available, plus interviews with people from the occupation can be arranged

    Occupy London TV


    #occupydemocracy Escalate Their Campaign for Real Democracy

    Overnight in Parliament Square eight #occupydemocracy protestors prepared to commit an act of non-violent civil disobedience in support of their campaign to highlight the growing democratic deficit (1) in this country by lying down to sleep in sleeping bags on a tarpaulin in Parliament Square (2).

    Tarpaulin has become the iconic symbol of the #occupydemocracy protest since their occupation of Parliament Square started at 5pm on Friday 17th October. London Police have been insisting that recent restrictions on the right to protest (3) mean that sitting on a tarpaulin is itself breaking the law. On Saturday and Sunday night police spent a substantial amount of tax payers money in violently (4) trying to confiscate the tarpaulin that protestors were sitting on. On Sunday night 140 officers were counted in opeartion “take the tarp”.

    One of the eight protestors taking part in this act of non-violent civil disobedience, Claudia Grigg-Edo, said:

    “We don’t know how the police are going to react but we are prepared to be arrested if that’s what it takes to raise the alram about how rotten our democracy has become and to carve out a space for a debate about what needs to be done.”

    #occupydemocracy supporter George Barda said:

    “We’ve had to face immense torment from the police who are making it as unpleasant as they can for us to be here. In spite of everything we are committed to remaining on the square and building a new movement for radical democratic reform. We want a government that serves the interests of the 99% – not just corporations, banks and a tiny wealthy elite. We have a great programme of speakers lined up for the rest of the week. Come down and help us build popular pressure for change.”

    John McDonnell tables Early Day Motion in Support of #occupydemocracy

    Labour MP John McDonnell will table an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons tomorrow morning calling on the authorities to allow the Occupy movement its democratic right to protest.


    (1) In their 2011 report Unelected Oligarchy, the think tank Democratic Audit detailed how: “Corporate and financial elites have inserted themselves into the heart of government over successive administrations, and … continue to exercise a predominant influence over it – through the financing of political parties, think tanks and lobbying organisations, membership of advisory bodies, ‘revolving doors’ and joint partnerships with government.” http://filestore.democraticauditarchive.com/file/de232c951e8286baa79af208ac250112-1311676243/oligarchy.pdf

    (2) Footage of the ceremony involving laying the tarpauline and people getting into sleeping bags can be found here: http://bambuser.com/v/5013501 (please do not use without contacting us first).

    (3) Provisions of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 seem to have been particularly designed to target the Occupy movement and their use of tents as an effective form of protest.

    (4) Police officers were witnessed using choke holds on protestors. The whole operation was recorded by citizens “live streaming” the event. Here is a three minute film by one supporter http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Nb1J8JsR3w (please do not use without our permission).


  • policeBy Tom Fielder

    Crossposted from Huffington Post

    At eighteen minutes past six on Sunday evening, as soon as the Sun had set, police closed in to break up a group of peaceful protesters sitting together in solidarity on the lawns of Parliament Square. Beneath the helpless gaze of Nelson Mandela, one protester after another was manhandled and forcibly dragged from the neck by encircling gangs of policemen – not because their protest was deemed illegal, but because the tarpaulin they were sitting on is classified as “sleeping equipment” by the Met, and is consequently, since the 2011 Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act, banned from the gardens of Parliament Square.


    The protest in question had been organised under the banner of “Occupy”, a slogan most recently celebrated in the context of pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong. Britain’s#OccupyDemocracy campaigners are demanding reforms to our democratic process “so that it serves the public interest, rather than the interests of corporations, banks and a tiny wealthy elite.”

    “We know that democracy is not just about having a vote every four, now five years” say the group, who are now four days into a proposed ten day occupation of Parliament Square Gardens, “It is about having the power to make your voice heard.”

    In the UK today, record numbers of people are homeless, record numbers rely on food banks to feed their families, and record numbers face fuel poverty as energy prices rise eight times faster than wages. At the same time, inequality is back on the rise, making us one of the most unequal countries in the developed world… Nobody voted to be made homeless, hungry or unemployed. It is clear whose voices are being heard. We need to start a movement for real democracy… We need to give ourselves the tools to hold our politicians to account, and to end the corporate lobbying power that drowns our voices out.


    Having already been supported with talks and workshops delivered by, among others, Green Party leader Natalie Bennett and Labour MP John McDonnell, speakers on Sunday afternoon included Ann Pettifor (New Economics Foundation) and John Christensen (Tax Justice Network). While the former emphasised the importance of understanding financial markets — and especially of the dangers of deflation in a world enmeshed with debt — the latter exposed the injustices of corporate tax evasion and “competitive” taxation rates.

    The #OccupyDemocracy campaigners, are, in other words, not a bunch of disengaged criminals. Described by Russell Brand as “like radicalised ninja turtles“, they consist of men and women from a variety of social and ethnic backgrounds, all intent on building a bigger democracy, a better democracy, a real democracy that speaks for the 99%… even if that means being pulled apart by policemen with no better laws to enforce, being forced to sit and stand and sleep in shifts on the muddy lawns of our renowned democracy.

    Parliament Square was created as a place to hold protest and democratic assemblies. This is where women gathered in the early years of the twentieth century in order to (often violently) demand their right to vote. Today by contrast, in the early years of the twenty-first century, campaigners are peacefully demanding that they be allowed the right to sit on tarpaulin; that their basic dignity be recognised as peaceful protesters concerned with the direction of Britain’s democratic tradition.


    Please, if you have any sympathy for these campaigners — even just their right to sit on tarpaulin — then come on down to Parliament Square, if only to toot your horn. The full schedule of speakers and workshops over the coming week can be found here.

    The reaction of the Police and the State to the #OccupyDemocracy protest is in complete juxtaposition to David Cameron’s recent comments regarding the Occupy Central pro-democracy demonstrations in [H]ong Kong, when he said that “rights and freedoms, including those of person, of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of travel, of movement, and, indeed, of strike … These are important freedoms … which, most of all, we should stand up for.”


    Follow Tom Fielder on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mindbollocks


  • COL-PR-Recovery myth promoted by TheCityUK.

    Employment in London’s financial and related professional services industry has reached a record high, according to TheCityUK. This proclamation of good news needs to be considered in the context of the City’s unique role in shaping the economic landscape, recent history and the wider economy, both nationally and globally.

    TheCityUK is part of the extensive lobbying machine for the City. In 2011, the City spent £93 million pressing for favourable treatment by legislators and regulators. TheCityUK is a key player in the negotiation of TTIP, CETA, TiSA and other so called “free trade agreements urging deregulation at every opportunity.

    One of the major weaknesses cited in the run up to the 2008 financial crisis was the UK’s excessive reliance on financial services which has driven out real, wealth creating, economy activity. Yet the banks have got bigger and these employment figures demonstrate that reliance on the illusory benefits of the finance industry is greater than before the crisis.

    Financialisation of the global economy has facilitated a dramatic widening of the gap between rich and poor, in the UK and beyond. The latest figures show that only 67 individuals hold as much wealth has half the global population (some 3.5 billion people). Income inequality is now greater than immediately before the Wall Street Crash of 1929 – this rising inequality is a function of the economic system. Such tensions cannot be sustained indefinitely and the current hubris, like the chimera of recovery, will evaporate.

    TheCityUK crows about the City’s competitiveness versus other financial centres but we all know that self-imposed deregulation and lower taxes are a “race to the bottom” while voluntarily applying the Shock Doctrine, even more vigorously, to the economy. That way madness and chaos lie.





        http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-09-11/us-income-gap-soars-widest-roaring-20sPreview Changes


  • policeCrossposted from the Guardian

    Between 50 and 100 Occupy Democracy protesters remain after police arrest one and evict others after three days in square

    Police made one arrest after hundreds of officers converged on Parliament Square in London on Sunday night in an attempt to remove Occupy Democracy protesters.

    A Metropolitan police spokesman said that officers were enforcing a notice to desist. The demonstrators, who were in the third day of occupying the square, were given 30 minutes to leave or face arrest.

    Possessing items that could be used for sleeping in Parliament Square was made illegal under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011.

    One protester used a smartphone to send a live video stream of the eviction to the Bambuser website as others condemned the police action on social media.

    Officers could be seen dragging away some of the protesters after they refused to leave.

    An Occupy spokeswoman described the police action as “absolutely crazy”.

    She said offficers told them that they could not sit on tarpaulins, which were deemed to be “structures”.

    Officers did not remove all of the protesters and between 50 and 100 remained in the square late on Sunday night.

    The person who was arrested was being held in custody at Charing Cross police station.

    Occupy London said on its Twitter feed: “David Cameron supported HK pro-democracy protests but is intent on crushing them in UK w[ith] violence.”

    The group planned to remain in Parliament Square for another week. According to its website, the goal of the Occupy Democracy campaign is to “direct the energy from current single-issue struggles into a critical mass that can radically challenge the corrupt and unrepresentative system”.

    system open for repair

  • victim_of_a_liarBy Nathan Shishjamo
    As children we are told, lying is bad. That we should never lie to somebody because that’s a mark of disrespect. So when does our opinion of lying change? At what point does lying become acceptable in modern society? The political system that we are controlled by does this on an unprecedented scale. And we do nothing. We just let it fly over our heads.
    Well let me tell you something, lying is still bad. That fact hasn’t changed. But the system has twisted that fact, so now it reads; “lying is bad…for everyone but us.” Trusting a politician is like leaving a chunk of meat in front of a hungry lion and  trusting it won’t devour it. It’s insane. But yet we follow them into war. To me war is a filthy word, violence against each other is something that baffles me. But mass violence and murder for causes that aren’t clear to us is supported by members of our society! A popular lie for Governments is the word; ‘civilise’. They say they are just going across to Afghanistan or Iraq to fight a mystery bad man. One that they basically created by the way, they are going to help the people. Ha! No, to help themselves and the corporations that control them more like. Therefore creating a circle of events. Our Governments invade counties for oil (or other economical benefits) then use that to fund and create weapons to do what with? Invade countries for oil. Companies have been founded on this very systematic flaw. But you’re lied to about this, there are so many excuses. “Oh shit! ISIS, this random terrorist group that has just cropped in the middle-east when our excuse for being there was getting a little shaky! What a coincidence!”. Is it really though?
    Everything we see in this world is based on lies, you look up a product on the internet. Go on do it. What you’ll see is an advertising scheme that tells you nothing on that product. But just how great it is. Worded in such a manner that you subconsciously bypass. Because you are so use to it; “Red Bull gives you wings”, “I’m loving it”, “Just Do It”. Our culture is corrupted with lies, and it’s leaking into our daily lives. Have you ever found yourself just lying, for no real reason- you just do it? It’s not your fault. It’s because you are falling into the trap that society has been set up in. Making us change our perception of this precious value we are taught as a child. To not lie.
    I fear for humanity, I love life. I’m a very spiritual-being. But when I look around I see a society of sheep. Always wanting. Forced to want, want, want. This can’t become our legacy. It’s a scary prospect that it can, but it will be set in stone if we don’t do something about theses corporate entities polluting the world. Not only with fossil fuels; which is going to have a profound effect in the next ten years. We are in for a huge climate shock. This has been coincidentally blocked out by the media. But more on that another day. What this article is about, is the pollution of lies our Governments and the media feed us, that is being carried through into society by society. Stop it. Wake up.  And look at the world. Is this the best humanity can do? I don’t think so either.


    Nathan Shishjamo
    website: shishjamo.wordpress.com (link it please)- it’s all about a revolution.
    I’m a visionary, I think that we as a community deserve better than what we’ve got. I’ve been to numerous occupy protests all around the globe and I am hoping, one day with the help of others to become a true revolutionary.

  • occ0dem-09
    occ0dem-05Phone: 07751445132 / 07745651634 / 07424934658 / 07590 405 810

    Email:  occupylsx@gmail.com
    Twitter: #occupydemocracy / @occupydemocracy / @occupylondon
    NB. Pictures/video are available, plus interviews with people from the occupation can be arranged

    Update: London police torment #OccupyDemocracy protestors on Parliament Square

    Overnight in Parliament Square,#OccupyDemocracy protestors aiming to draw attention to the growing democratic deficit in the UK, have been enduring systematic torment from the Metropolitan Police and Heritage Wardens, who have been zealously enforcing new restrictions on the right to protest and assembly in the Square (Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011).

    The reaction of the Police and the State to the #OccupyDemocracy protest is in complete juxtaposition to David Cameron’s recent comments regarding the Occupy Central pro-democracy demonstrations in Kong Kong, when he said that “rights and freedoms, including those of person, of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of travel, of movement, and, indeed, of strike … These are important freedoms … which, most of all, we should stand up for.” [1]

    occ0dem-06Timeline of #OccupyDemocracy

    5pm Friday 17 October – Occupation begins on Parliament Square with an overnight vigil to mark the UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty with speakers from groups including War on Want, Fuel Poverty Action and Reverend Dr Keith Hebden (author of Seeking Justice: The Radical Compassion of Jesus). Throughout the night protestors’ right to assemble and protest were contravened – with protestors not being allowed to rest and being forced onto the pavement.

    Daytime Saturday 18 October – Protestors support the TUC March.

    7-10pm Saturday 18 October – Scuffles instigated by police against protestors as Heritage Wardens instruct that the protestors should be removed. Police kettle the protestors. Two protestors are assaulted, several personal items removed. Banners calling for “Real Democracy Now!” and a small, battery-powered sound system – used by speakers such as Green Party leader Natalie Bennett and Labour MP John McDonnell to address the crowd – were all confiscated by the police. Later witnesses say that journalists and photographers were denied access to the protest by the police and removed from the Square. At around 10pm the police back off.

    2am Sunday 19 October – Whilst protestors try to rest police arrest attempts were made with further harassment of the group who were huddled together in the mud. Police also confiscated cardboard that protestors had been using to keep warm. One protestor, a 24 year old woman from Manchester, reported that she was not permitted to lean against her own bag as it was camping equipment. Another woman, 65, has an air mattress literally pulled from under her, casting her to the ground.

    7am Sunday 19 October – Things calm until 7am when the police entered the gathered crowd to remove printed materials including banners, hand held signs and a flag displaying a rainbow and the word ‘Peace’. A woman had the occupation’s Safer Spaces sign ripped from her hands as she shouted ‘No’ – this sign set out the ground rules for behaviour to ensure every individual feels safe, comfortable and welcome.

    10.30am Sunday 19 October – Another protestor arrested – police allege that he cut a piece of string.

    Upcoming – Sundays’ theme is “taming the power of finance” featuring speakers and workshops from UK Uncut, Tax Justice Network, New Economics Foundation and the Robin Hood Tax campaignocc0dem-07


    On Monday the focus is on the attacks on our public services including NHS privatisation and cuts in welfare benefits.

    Details of planned events for the rest of the week at the #occupydemocracy protest can be found at http://occupydemocracy.org.uk/.

    The protest, organised by #OccupyDemocracy – a group that grew out of Occupy London – is demanding reforms to our democratic process so that it serves the public interest, rather than the interests of corporations, banks and a tiny wealthy elite. 

    Alison Playford from #OccupyDemocracy said: “The way the State has responded to our protest with this political policing just shows how frightened the elite are of a new movement pushing for radical democratic reform.”

    Amongst the flurry of support coming in via social media, support includes:

    Labour MP John McDonnell who also spoke at the protest said: 

    “When politicians and parties ignore them, people have no other option but to take direct action. Occupy Democracy is a way people can have their voice heard.”

    Donnachadh McCarthy, the whistleblowing former Deputy Chair of the Liberal Democrats and author of The Prostitute State

    “Our political parties have been hijacked by the corporate lobbying classes, our media perverted by a handful of extreme right-wing billionaires, our tax system plundered by the tax-haven elite and our think-tanks, schools and universities increasingly corporately manipulated. Britain is no longer a democracy but a Prostitute State, which is reflected by the rise of UKIP. We desperately need a 21st Century Great Democratic Reform Act to re-gain our democracy for the sake of social and political justice and the very future of our planet’s ecosystems.”

  • occ0dem-029:45pm 18th October

    As the #OccupyDemocracy protest in London heads towards the end of its second day, police are attempting to violently close down the peaceful occupation of Parliament Square. [1]

    The violent turn of events follows thousands of people marching in London as part of the TUC march against austerity and for a living wage. With around 100 protestors currently kettled and at least 150 around the square, police have tried a number of tactics throughout the protest to remove the protestors, progressively becoming more violent and oppressive in their actions. A number of protestors have already been assaulted and police have confiscated banners and personal items.

    Currently the protestors remain determined and resolved, and demand that their right to protest and democratic assembly is facilitated – the very purpose of Parliament Square.

    1 Occupy Democracy: http://occupydemocracy.org.uk/ (Overall press release for the nine day occupation below)




    A nine-day occupation of Parliament Square[i] starts this evening (Friday 17 October 2014) at 5pm with an overnight vigil to mark the UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

    This will be a candlelit event with speakers addressing the causes of the rising inequality both in the UK and globally including John Hilary (Executive Director, War on Want), Ruth London (Fuel Poverty Action), Reverend Dr Keith Hebden (author of Seeking Justice: The Radical Compassion of Jesus) and Kofi Mawuli-Klu (Pan-African Reparations Coalition in Europe).

    Matilda Wnek of Occupy London said “We will stand in solidarity with those suffering acute poverty and homelessness in the UK, and with the victims of our foreign policy abroad which impoverishes and exploits our fellow men, women and children through economic, diplomatic and military means. We invite members of faith, development and poverty groups to join us. Just bring a candle in a jam jar and in case of rain, an umbrella – yellow if possible.”

    In the UK today, record numbers of people are homeless, record numbers rely on food banks to feed their families, and record numbers face fuel poverty as energy prices rise eight times faster than wages. Yet while the poor are getting poorer, the rich are getting richer:
    – In 2013, 85 individuals owned the same amount of wealth as that owned by the poorest half of the world’s entire population. In 2014 that number went down to just 67 individuals.[ii]
    – In the UK the disposable incomes of the richest 20% of the population rose by £940 while the rest of the population’s declined by £250. The poorest 20% got poorer by £381.[iii]



    As Oxfam reported in Tale of Two Britains[iv] in March: “Inequality is a growing problem in the UK. While austerity measures in Britain continue to hit the poorest families hardest, a wealthy elite has seen their incomes spiral upwards, exacerbating income inequality which has grown under successive governments over the last quarter of a century.”

    George Barda of Occupy London said: “Nobody voted to be made homeless, hungry or unemployed. The 80% of Britons who got poorer over the last year never voted to transfer their money to the rich. Rising inequality is yet another symptom of our broken democracy which we will continue to challenge and expose over the course of the coming nine days in Parliament Square.”


    Your browser does not support iframes.

    [i] http://occupydemocracy.org.uk/category/press/
    [ii] http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesinsights/2014/03/25/the-67-people-as-wealthy-as-the-worlds-poorest-3-5-billion/
    [iii] http://inequalitybriefing.org/brief/briefing-42-incomes-increased-for-the-richest-last-year-but-fell-for-everyo
    [iv] http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/a-tale-of-two-britains-inequality-in-the-uk-314152

  • Occupiers paid a little visit to the pro TTIP talk at the London School of Economics on Monday October 13th.

    Question and Answer Time

    The Talk

    The Event was advertised as such:

    Date: Monday 13 October 2014
    Time: 6.30-8pm
    Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
    Speakers: HE Sylvie Bermann, Pascal Lamy, Sir Peter Ricketts, Peter Sutherland
    Chair: Professor Maurice Fraser

    A deal on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership would be a powerful shot in the arm for the world’s anaemic economy. But does the political will exist to reap the gains from trade?

    Sylvie Bermann is French Ambassador to the UK.

    Pascal Lamy is former Director General of the World Trade Organisation (2005-13).

    Peter Ricketts (@HMARicketts) is British Ambassador to France.

    Peter Sutherland is Chair of the LSE Council, Chairman of Goldman Sachs International and former Director General of the World Trade Organisation (1993-95).

    Maurice Fraser is Head of the European Institute at LSE and Professor of Practice in European Politics.

    The LSE European Institute (@LSEEI) was established in 1991 as a dedicated centre for the interdisciplinary study of processes of integration and fragmentation within Europe. In the most recent national Research Assessment Exercise, the Institute was ranked first for research in European Studies in the United Kingdom. The LSE European Institute has been a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence since 2009.

    The Franco-British Council (@francobritish) was created on the joint initiative of Président Georges Pompidou and Prime Minister Edward Heath in 1972. The Council’s purpose is to promote better understanding between Britain and France through seminars and events on topical subjects of the day.

    Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEFBC

    This event is free and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For any queries see LSE Events FAQ or contact us at events@lse.ac.uk or 0207 955 6043.

    Media queries: please contact the Press Office if you would like to request a press seat or have a media query about this event, email LSE.Press.Events@lse.ac.uk. Please note that press seats are usually allocated at least 24 hours before each event.

    From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend that if you plan to attend this event you check back on this listing on the day of the event.

  • Over 400 actions  in 22 different countries took place on 11th October: The Europe Wide Day of Action Against TTIP. Over 1000 protest in London, Parliament Square.

    DSC_0432 copy
    ttip=stop-ceta-logoBy Inka Stafrace

    Information about the planned actions was illustrated wonderfully on the Stop-TTIP-CETA-TiSA website which promptly crashed on the 10th of October due to an overwhelming amount of hits (220,000 in a day) on this unfunded website ran by three individuals.  They managed to get it running again but without their piece de resistance; the interactive map. Unquestionably an overriding success for the movement.

    Occupy London played a big part in out-reach and spreading the word and still does about not only, the day of action,  but also about TTIP itself. It was a day that we showed anyone interested that we are still here, organizing and participating in the change we want to see. We have worked closely with World Development Movement NGO, who helped finance bits and bobs like flyers and banners etc.

    So what it TTIP?

    occupy-ttipIts a free trade agreement that has as much to do with the corporate take over of democracies all over Europe and the US as it does with trade and services. Please visit this semi crashed site for a clear journey into understanding the deal, and the Occupy London page for informative videos. 

    TTIP was initiated in total secrecy and now that it’s existence is known to the public, support for TTIP has become more vocal and sophisticated. Although the finer details of this ‘agreement’  are far from comforting it should be sufficiently disturbing to know that it is still being negotiated in secret. The public and media have no access to the text and MEPs have limited access despite it being stipulated in the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union that they are to be ‘fully informed’ of EC negotiations.

    Do you trust corporations to serve your best interests?



    We began the day faced with another demo happening in the same spot!  The Kurds against ISIS demo. We negotiated with them and all went smoothly. They occupied one corner … we kitty kornered from them.

    38 degrees people came in force, setting up their tables and giving out flyers.

    The banner we worked on for a few days took centre stage . Many protesters involved themselves in holding it and thank heavens for that. As organizers we would not have managed without them.

    hands off our democracy-01


    The photographers had a field day.




    About 1000 people turned up.

    DSC_0469 copy
    Speeches at the Square

    Whands off our democracy-06e set up a ladder and a megaphone for the speakers who included  in order of appearance in livestream below.

    John Hilary : War on Want – not on livestream

    David Babs : 38 degrees (0:00)

    Vica Rogers : Occupy London (2:30)

    Sam Lowe : Friends of The Earth (4:35)

    Someone from the Kurdish protest to tell about their cause (8:14)

    DSC_0517 copyTracey Worcester : Farms not Factories. (9:40)

    Housekeeping (14:34)

    Annie : Unite the Youth (19:06)

    Jan O’Mailey – Keep Our NHS Public (22:11)

    Gentleman from the Lewisham Hospital Campaign (27:55)

    DSC_0473 copyJean Lambert : MEP Green Party (32:00)

    Morten Theyson : World Development Movement (40:02) (Q&A)

    Sara Calloway : Global Woman’s Strike (40:41)

    Inka Stafrace: Occupy London + Polly Tikke Productions (45:51) (wrap up)















    DSC_0477 copy











    But there was more… oh so much more!!

    After the last speaker spoke, we trundled off onto the street , up onto the bridge with the intent of making our voices heard and doing a ‘banner drop’.


    Once we got onto the bridge , with enormous acknowledgement that we should have thought a few things out through a little more thoroughly we dropped the banner! At least 30 people helped make this possible. The media coverage this action created was moderate on the mainstream press *BBC, and awesome on twitter and other social media.

    DSC_0569 copy



    hands off our democracy-03


    It is somewhat amazing the things  us unpaid activists need to do to get the largest free trade agreement ever negotiated covered by the mainstream media. TTIP is set to give corporations the power to sue national governments, if the governments pass laws that negatively effect their investments. These laws would include environmental laws, health and safety laws to name a few. In a weeks time maybe we can get some young man or woman to jump off Big Ben in a tutu with a parachute , with NoTTIP sprayed on the fabric, so that this dangerous ‘trade’ deal stays in the media and is repeated as often as it deserves to be. The fight for our democracy (all be it a deeply flawed one)  is somewhat important to cover, I should think.

    To be fair the main stream press have ‘noticed’ it in the last month. It has been being negotiated for over a year but whose counting.  What is heartening to know is that there are many people working hard to stop TTIP both within the establishment and on the grassroots level. They need all the help they can get. The European Citizen’s Initiative against TTIP was rejected by the European Commission but the organizers chose to go through with it anyway to see what the interest is out there. The ECI needs 1,000,000 signatures from all over Europe to transpire and is given over a year to gather them. The Stop TTIP initiative has gathered over 500,000 signatures in less than a month! Join in and be part of the change you want to see. Spread those leaflets, talk to family and friends. The more horrified members of the public there are, the more likely we are to collectively stop TTIP.


    The short march onto the bridge and the behind the scenes looks at the banner drop!

    Images : Fanny Malinen , Polly Tikkle, Peter Marshall. Livestream : Obi-Live

    Coverage :

    RT embedded .


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29584889 (note footage taken after rally rather than during it)

    More info




    The End :)

  • naomi-kleinNaomi Klein supported both actions on October 11th: The Global Frackdown Day and the European Day of Action Against TTIP, at her fantastic, life affirming (for activists at any rate!) talk last night.

    Naomi plugged these actions at the very end of her talk and did not quite get the chance (maybe she was unaware) that in an attempt to address the awkward result that both actions are on the same day, the organizers have made sure that both actions on October 11th are at different times in the day and close by, location wise,  so that supporters can make it to both!

    TTIP and fracking are closely related in essence because TTIP is the legal framework that would render the fight against fracking legally impossible to truly “win”.


    hsbc-frack-off-leaflet-draft-01Global Frackdown is in the morning :
    11 October 2014
    11:00 am Golden Square, Soho, London W1R 3AD




    NoTTIP is in the early afternoon
    11 October 2014
    02:00 pm
    Parliament Square Westminster, London SW1

    [hozbreak]Fracking is the fuel extraction process that threatens our water supply, air cleanliness and promotes further climate change while sending a clear message to the UK that Westminster does not represent the people but in fact energy companies.

    TTIP is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership that promises to give corporations the right to sue governments if governments pass laws that will affect their  investment via the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision. There are many other matters to fear about TTIP not least the fact that it is being negotiated with such tenacious ‘confidentiality’  that many believe it defies the regulations as stipulated in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

    Both actions are international days of action and both causes are phenomenally important as both TTIP and fracking threaten our lifestyles and the future well being of both planet and people. 

    It is important to accept that there are people within the establishment who are fighting the good fight, but their fight is hard and they are outnumbered so they need the public support both emotionally and logistically via contributions through letters, petitions, and involvement.

    Believe that this world can be a better place and join the movements that encourage positive, socially conscious, planet loving change.


  • [hozbreak]


    More detailed explanation from George on why we need a revolution in democracy. 

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