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Monday 22nd
posted by Will Stone in Britain

Occupy protest highlights housing crisis

POLICE and Boris Johnson’s private security swooped on Parliament Square in their droves at the weekend to sabotage Occupy Democracy campaigners highlighting the scandal of London’s housing crisis.

Lib Dem activist Donnachadh McCarthy, 55, was arrested and thrown into a police van while holding a banner stating: “Arrest Nick Clegg” for awarding peerages to party donors.

The author of The Prostitute State: How Britain’s Democracy Has Been Bought claims he was arrested for common assault after earlier brushing a private security officer while helping a fellow protester.

Activists had breached the makeshift fences erected around Parliament Square and unfurled a 20 metre “Real Democracy Now!” banner.

Addressing the 100-strong crowd, Mr McCarthy said: “Standing behind my back is a circle of police imprisoning our democracy. That’s what this represents today.”

Pointing to one of the London mayor’s hired security from international corporation AOS he exclaimed: “These are the men who say who to arrest.

“So police don’t decide who to arrest, it’s a corporation, a private security corporation is telling people who to arrest.

“It’s outrageous and that’s what Britain has come to.”

Mr McCarthy was arrested seconds later, the third time he has been arrested at the ongoing Open Democracy action in Parliament Square.

“The billionaire extremist press won’t tell you that. They’re not here tonight they won’t be reporting this” — he added.

This weekend’s action, under the banner of “Occupy Democracy: Many Happy Returns,” focussed on the plight of London’s unaffordable housing.

A series of workshops and speeches included campaigners from the New Era estate and Focus E15 mums, who argued that “social housing is a right.”

The assembly agreed to reintroduce rent controls and decriminalise squatting in response to London’s rent rip-off and to tackle rising homelessness.

Mr McCarthy told the Star: “Boris Johnson is literally evicting the poor from London. More and more flats being built are exclusive yuppie-style financial sector apartments with affordable housing classed as 80 per cent of market rents. There is nowhere for ordinary people to live.”

The occupation concluded yesterday but Mr McCarthy said plans are afoot to “occupy Rupert Murdoch,” targeting the media baron’s new offices close to the Shard skyscraper in the new year.