Occupy protesters descend on square

Published: Friday 21st November 2014 by The News Editor

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Pro-democracy protesters descended on central London tonight as the Occupy movement gathered to set up camp outside Parliament.

Organisers called for supporters to “return to Parliament Square” outside the Palace of Westminster from 6pm until late on Sunday.

Police have warned protesters they are banned from setting up camp at the landmark, as Scotland Yard insisted it had “an appropriate and proportionate police plan in place” for the event.

Dozens of officers were stationed in front of fencing placed around Parliament Square which prevented people from accessing the site.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said it attempted to make contact with organisers but the group had “failed to engage” with the police force.

The force confirmed a Section 60 AA order was in place in the area around Parliament Square which gives police powers to force people to remove masks where they anticipate criminal activity.

The order is in place until 2pm tomorrow, a police spokesman said.

Protester Tom Kay, 21, from Sheffield, branded the police guard around Parliament Square “a disgrace”.

He said: “Protest is legal in this country and I think we should be able to protest where we want.

“The police are unwilling to let people protest seriously.”

Announcing the event on the Occupy website, a statement said: “We’re coming together because we want genuine democracy – free from corporate influence – where our voices count.

“Our votes, so hard won by the struggles of previous generations, have little value if politicians ignore the population they’re supposed to serve.”

There were a series of clashes with police on Parliament Square last month as supporters of the Occupy movement stood their ground for nine days. Green Party politician Jenny Jones was among a group of arrested protesters.

Under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act, the police can forcibly remove any protesters that decide to set up camp in Parliament Square.

The legislation was introduced after anti-war campaigners spent years occupying the London landmark outside Parliament.

Published: Friday 21st November 2014 by The News Editor

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