Occupy digs in at Parliament Square despite huge police aggression and intimidation reports Matt Bonner
Since Friday evening, hundreds have been assembled at Parliament Square as part of a nine day occupation to create a space for peaceful protest and engaging discussion on how to achieve real democracy.
Occupy Democracy is successfully holding assemblies and discussions on social, economic and environmental justice, each day with a different theme. Speakers so far have included Natalie Bennett and Russell brand, with workshops from UK Uncut and Move Your Money.
But owing to specific restrictions on camping in Parliament Square Gardens, attempts to create a working camp have been thwarted by a huge police presence who are consistently intimidating and using force to remove sleeping equipment, as well as harassment from "Heritage Wardens" employed by a private security guard company.
After Saturdays TUC march, hundreds marched on to parliament square to begin the mass occupation. But police have mobilised periodically to confiscate structures, possessions and even banners, bunting and placards. Sunday evening saw a heavy handed police operation physically removing people sat on tarpaulin that was forcibly removed from under them. Occupiers are braving another night.
The camp is constantly having to reinvent itself against incredible opposition and with, as yet, no mainstream media coverage. But people are stopping by in solidarity with donations of food and waterproof clothing.
Today's (Monday) programme is on the theme of 'Privatisation and the corporate takeover'. For a full listing and for more information visit www.occupydemocracy.org.uk
Matt is a campaigner and graphic designer based in London.