The Tarpaulin Revolution


British democracy is locked down, for now.

Police have placed barriers around Parliament Square opposite Westminster in an attempt to barricade Occupy Democracy protests. 15 peaceful citizens were arrested this morning. The occupation that began on Friday is calling for real democracy asserting the current system is in multiple crises: that it serves the needs of the 1%.
Occupy London supporter Daniel Ashman, speaking just before his arrest 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.”

Today before noon, police violently moved in to remove 40 protesters who stayed out last night without tents to brave the backend of Hurricane Gonzalo, with high winds and torrential rains drenching the pro-democracy advocates. All this, on the square originally designed to enable the public to protest and interact with Parliament.

The arrests included Green Party peer, Baroness Jenny Jones and Donnachadh McCarthy, the former Deputy Chair of the Liberal Democrats. He blew the whistle on the endemic corruption of Westminster.

Each night, the police have been harassing protesters trying to sleep on the square. With strict anti-protest laws enshrined at Parliament Square, the policing at times shifting from the violent to the ridiculous. Masses of riot police have been encircling protesters to remove ground-sheets, tarpaulin, as it constitutes sleeping equipment.

In reaction, the pro-democracy citizens have linked arms, singing, chanting and humming the Star Wars tune – in reference to the Yes rickshaw that welcomed the Labour Party on the streets before the Scottish referendum.

Until today, there has been little media coverage of the occupation, or notable confusion: The London occupation stands in solidarity with the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and points out that its fellow advocates of freedom there are being allowed to hold space, with far less restrictions that in London. But some stories have reported the democracy camp as solely a solidarity protest with Hong Kong.

Other media, such as the BBC, have failed to report the camp, following a pattern familiar to many anti-establishment protests and similar to its near blanket ban on progressive radical Scottish independence ideas.

Since Friday 17th Occupy Democracy has used Parliament Square to host skill-shares, public meetings and talks including Ann Pettifor (New Economics Foundation), John Christensen (Tax Justice Network) and academic-activist David Graeber. With the aim to hold the square until Sunday 26th, each of these days are focused to examine different social justice issues in Britain, from the corporate takeover of public services to creating a renewable based eco-economy system and ending inequality and imperialist wars.

* * * * * * * * *

To keep updated follow

Comments (13)

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published.

  1. This is a bloody outrage. Google ‘queue for iphone 6 London Manchester’ and you’ll see tents day and night. In this society, we can sleep in luxury when we’re fellating corporate masters, but woe betide all who peacefully wish to make a stand, at great discomfort, to make a statement. Democracy is of the people, but people have no say. When will they realise you do not have to be in a workforce to be in a union. I have never understood why people themselves can’t unionise. Border less, unified, with the greatest weapon on the planet; their consumer power. If the working and middle classes across the world stopped buying coca cola for a week…? Well…you see…

  2. deewal says:

    “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [ the banks ] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.” Thomas Jefferson, 3rd president of the United States of America

  3. brobof says:

    Today’s updated schedule with extra added Caroline Lucas

    (Let’s see if this comment get’s approved…)

  4. MBC says:

    Thanks for reporting this. What can we do to help?

  5. MBC says:

    Field a Yes Alliance candidate in London?

  6. Tw33tingOwl says:

    Not sure how you can help apart from Occupy George sq in solidarity. Failing that just tweet #TarpaulinRevolution #OccupyDemocracy and help spread the word.

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      Hi – I think making common cause by the sort of reports Steve Rushton has is opening peoples eyes to the reality that the enemy is the British State – and that the crisis of democracy is felt north and south of the border.

      1. Tw33tingOwl says:

        I understand. Your work and writers work is greatly appreciated. I didn’t mean to sound divisive. Scots are a proud nation and any help that you can give us south of the border will always be greatly received. Solidarity to bringing down tyranny.

  7. Garey says:

    HUGE THANKS, to those that stand united against tyranny. Tyranny ALWAYS fails. Be proud of your courage and contributions. UNITED IN PEACE Garey

  8. Brian says:

    It’s bizarre to see centenary celebrations of First World War Victory in the name of Freedom and then read about this monstrous suppression of peaceful, democratic protest. And, had it not been for sites like like BC I would not have known…no surprise to deduce that the biased BBC are complicit in this news blackout.

Help keep our journalism independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe to regular bella in your inbox

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address on our subscribe page by clicking the button below. It is completely free and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.