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Sack Parliament Protest Reports

relayed via reporter on scene | 09.10.2006 13:18 | Anti-militarism | London

Quick phone report from Sack Parliament Protest:

2pm: the whole area around parliament is flooded with police officers and vans.

There is around 150 people surrounded by a larger number of police after being pushed together. Police in riot gear and mounted police have been seen at Lambeth Bridge.

Police have been stopping and searching many people in the vicinity and arrests have been made even before the event started. Apparently at least 800 police officers are on duty. More arrests have taken place since 1pm including one person reportedly arrested for being an alleged 'organiser'.

The crowd of protestors consists of many anti-war and peace campaigners, as well as people who have been campaigning against the SOCPA no protest zone around parliament. There are anti-war banners as well as specifically anarchist banners.

Several jounalists have been assaulted by the police as they have tried to push people back.

Mainstream media are in attendance - photographers and tv crews from More4 and Sky.

More later

relayed via reporter on scene


Phootographer injured

09.10.2006 14:01

Photograpers report that one of their number, Marc Valeé, is today hospitalised following what first reports say was action by officers of the Metropolitan police in the vicinity of Parliament Square - thrown onto a kerbstone.

One says he could not move his legs when he was put into the ambulance but it will be some time before we know whether this will heal.

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3pm report from scene

09.10.2006 14:09

Update and clarification:

3pm: The person taken to hospital in an ambulance was a photographer. He was grabbed by police and swung forcibly around by his arm, falling and hitting his head hard. He was reported to be having seizures before being treated by paramedics.

There are now 40-50 people still surrounded by police in parliament square. The figure of 150 people quoted before was the total estimate of people present, and not the total number surrounded and penned in by police (many others were watching from the surrounding area).

The protestors who are surrounded have their arms linked together in an effort to show solidarity and prevent the police from arresting more people after police snatch squads pulled several people out of the group.

It appears that people are being held under SOCPA legislation but it is unclear.

Some fear that the police may arrest all participants.

relayed via reporter on scene

press coverage of protest so far

09.10.2006 14:10


Police trap anarchists in Parliament Square
By Peter Law and Martina Smit

POLICE have formed a giant ringed barricade around anarchists trying to disrupt the re-opening of Parliament.

The demonstrators planned to stop politicians from entering the Palace of Westminster.

But only about 50 people, mostly youths, turned out for the event dubbed State of Emergency - Sack the Parliament.

About 200 police outnumber the protesters by at least four-to-one.

The officers have linked arms in a massive circle in the middle of Parliament Square to stop the protesters from getting close to the gates of Westminster.

So far no one has been arrested, but a photographer was taken to hospital by ambulance after he was violently pushed to the ground by a policeman.

Up to 800 officers are on stand up to stamp out any trouble.

Commander Bob Broadhurst said those planning the demonstration had been asked to be cooperative, but police were never contacted.

He said that without permission for the protest, they were breaking the law.

"The Met will always facilitate lawful protest, and in fact has a long history of doing so," Commander Broadhurst said.

"What we will not tolerate is people breaking the law, attempting to disrupt Parliament and disrupting the normal life of central London.

"We will have a robust policing operation in place for Monday; anyone breaking the law could be arrested.

"If we are unable to make arrests at the time we will make them post event and evidence gatherers will be deployed to make sure we build the strongest possible cases."

A website promoting the event said: "Despite repeated mass protests parliament has ignored those it is supposed to represent and consistently sided with continuing wars and further authoritarian legislation.

"We have only one option left : Sack Parliament."

2:04pm today


Police clash with anti-war protestors outside Parliament
09/10/2006 - 14:10:21 PM Printable version

Protesters clashed with police outside the Houses of Parliament during an anti-war demonstration today.

A heavy police presence surrounded people taking part in the protest in Parliament Square.

Organisers had planned to prevent peers and MPs from entering the Palace of Westminster on their first day back after the parliamentary recess.

But hundreds of police officers were stationed around the area and the pavement in front of the Houses of Parliament was sealed off to the public.

Police, who vastly outnumbered protesters, moved swiftly to prevent a small group, wearing hooded tops and scarves masking their faces, from running across the road from the green on Parliament Square towards the House of Commons.

A number of minor scuffles followed as police tried to contain the protest within a secure cordon on the green.

One man, who did not appear to be one of the protesters, was hurt during the clashes and was treated by paramedics at the scene.

Copyright Press Association 2006.



Re Mark Injured by Police

09.10.2006 14:43

This is awful news.

Marc is a professional photographer through and through. He's been documenting youth culture and protests for over ten years and produces striking images. He's an NUJ and British Press Photographers' Association member.

Some of his work:

I hope the police haven't caused him permanent injuries, as it sounds pretty serious.

Good luck Marc.

NUJ LFB Member

News reports on `Sack Parliament`

09.10.2006 15:24

I watched the BBC1 lunchtime news (1300 -1330) and while the protest itself was not covered there was a report from Westminster which seemed to show a quiet Parliament Square. As I write this at 1602 this is showing on Channel Five teletext:

`Protesters have clashed with police outside the Houses of Parliament during an anti-war demonstration.
A heavy police presence outnumbered protesters trying to prevent peers and MPs entering the palace of Westminster on their first day back after recess.

A number of minor scuffles broke out as police tried to contain the protest within a secure cordon on the green at Parliament Square. One man was hurt. `

The BBC1 Ceefax teletext said (at 1610hrs) that “40 or so people taking part in the “Sack Parliament” demonstration were heavily outnumbered by hundreds of police officers.”

Here is a report with one photo from the BBC politics website:

The turnout was fairly small of course - if only there could have been a protest the size of February 15th 2003 - perhaps an opportunity was missed that day. Suppose by sheer force of numbers a few thousand people had occupied the Houses of Parliament or some other major London building like Buckingham Palace or the BBC. An occupation of this size, possibly lasting several days, would have been hard for the government to ignore and would have made headlines around the world.

Are we likely to see million plus demos again?

Paul O'Hanlon
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Update from Parliament Square

09.10.2006 16:44

I have just managed to get out of Parliament Square after being detained for over 4 hours by the Met..During that time I have given assistance to 3 different people who have been assaulted by the police, including the press photographer from the earlier releases (Hope you are ok Marc)
The Met's use of encircling and then using snatch squads to grab seemingly random individuals not only endangered public safety but also gave officers carte blanch to beat and kick protesters with impunity... I for one am nursing a still dead leg from where a cop tried to kick me in the balls!!
To the credit of the protesters, there were few violent incidents other than those instigated by the Met and the use of linked arms to prevent further snatches showed that there is a way to resist..
At the end of the day, if we are not allowed to protest peacefully and legally in the seat of our own democracy..maybe it is time to rethink our tactics.
There were still a handful of protesters left inside the cordon at 16.30 and the police were slowly sorting through, ensuring they photographed everyone and took their names & addresses before either arresting or threatening a summons on each protester individually.

Mark Searle
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The last few protestors

09.10.2006 17:30

I was one of the last few people in the pen. They asked for name and address, and said they'd be sending a court summons for breach of SOCPA '05. They may have done similar to the people who they let out of the pen one by one (they were stopping them and checking their names and addresses and taking photographs of them, so the same thing could have been happening there). One person trying to leave the pen via the corridor of officers and questions of personal details got sent back because they didn't have any ID on them to prove their identify.

Nowun Inparticla

38 arrested - marc out of hospital

09.10.2006 19:29

Police are reporting 38 arrests. Most under SOCPA legislation.
The photographer Marc is out of hospital.


Update on Marc

10.10.2006 00:40

Marc was released from hospital about 6ish tonight. As I understand it, this means his injuries were much less serious than at first feared.


> fat arse

The NUJ is its members, not an entity from Planet Corporate. Members do what they can.

The poster's wise knowledge of tactics that would work and into which they would be prepared to put effort would, if indeed wise, be much appreciated.

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Hide the following 4 comments


09.10.2006 15:10

notice how the bbc decided to call him 'a man with a camera'



09.10.2006 15:22

Time the NUJ got off its fat arse and stood up for its members in the the mainstream media.


BBC have now lost his camera and now treated at the scene

09.10.2006 16:38

Looks like a cover-up in real-time. Complaints to the BBC anyone?

Last Updated: Monday, 9 October 2006, 16:29 GMT 17:29 UK

"One man was injured in the melee and was treated by paramedics at the scene."



09.10.2006 16:40

Hi. I'd like to know if there's any standard (and what it is) by which this escapade can be described as 'a success' or even 'ever vaguely likely to work'. If there is none - which I suspect there isn't - isn't it about time people got around to having a serious think about why isolated and doomed spectacles of this variety are repeated again and again after the manner of a historical re-enactment society? And more to the point, asking: why does this type of activity not work, and what lessons can we learn from that?

Nothing other than what has happened was ever going was ever going to happen.