THE Met faced criticism yesterday after labelling occupy demonstrators “domestic extremists” and splurging almost £2 million on arresting participants of a legal protest.
Charges against 12 peaceful protesters were dropped on Monday in the first two trials of the Occupy Democracy campaigners, who held a camp in Westminster last October.
The occupation led to several confrontations between officers and protesters, often relating to the use of materials the police deemed to allow sleeping on the square, which is prohibited under the Social Responsibility Act 2011.
Westminster Magistrates District Judge Richard Blake acknowledged that the much-fought over tarpaulin “provided some sort of comfort for the people to remain in the square.”
But he added that sleeping “is not a normal use for tarpaulin.”
Occupy London’s legal adviser Matthew Varnham said: “This judgement calls into question the actions and motivation of London Mayor Boris Johnson, the Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service.”