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Pic: Louis Mignot

Feb
2015
Monday 16th
posted by Joana Ramiro in Britain


A JOURNALIST accused London police yesterday of arresting him on bogus charges during a crackdown ona peaceful Parliament Square demonstration.

Clashes between police and over 200 demonstrators took place after sunset on Saturday — the fifth weekend occupation of Parliament Square.

Occupy News Network live-streamer Obi Abadinas was arrested after Greater London Authority (GLA) heritage wardens and Metropolitan Police moved in on protesters.

His arrest has raised concerns about freedom of speech and peoples right to protest in the capital.

“I got arrested due to a false testimony from Boris Johnson’s Gestapo, heritage warden H22,” said Mr Abadinas.

“He claimed that he had asked me to leave and to provide my details — I had not spoken to him that day.”

Mr Abadinas was arrested under Section 3 of the Criminal Act, which allows the police to take someone by force in “the prevention of crime.”

He told the Star that no further action was taken by the Met, but that he might be called as part of investigations by the GLA.

“I hope they do, so I can prove they lied,” he added.

Mr Abadinas was one of five arrested, including Lib Dem vice-chair Donnachadh McCarthy.

Mr McCarthy said: “It’s outrageous that so many peaceful protestors are being arrested while Boris Johnson entertains the real criminals — making hundreds of thousands of pounds working for the tax-dodging Barclay brothers at the Telegraph.”

As reported by the Star, the mayor and the GLA are currently undergoing a judicial review for alleged abuse of power at previous Occupy Democracy events.

The group’s legal advisor Matthew Varnham explained that last month’s protest camp was allowed to be held on the grass of Parliament Square, which he described as a “welcome development.”

“Unfortunately, the GLA has now backtracked and last night’s arrests demonstrate an inflexibility to continue to facilitate such protest.

“This is particularly problematic as we now know the GLA’s repair schedule will likely see the grass area closed until ‘late spring,’ so after the general election.”

Despite the clashes, the Occupy camp went ahead on Sunday featuring workshops and speeches by housing activists Bohemians 4 Soho, feminist campaigners Sisters Uncut and a member of Greece’s governing party Syriza.

The occupation ended after a general assembly but Occupy Democracy vowed to return for a weekend every month until the general election.




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