Tamils Blockade Parliament Square AgainTagged as: parliament_square repression socpa sri_lanka tamils westminster
Tamil protestors have caught police on the hop today and blockaded the road outside Parliament again in the last half hour. Hundreds of protestors have taken the junction at Westminster Bridge Road and traffic is backed up across the bridge and up Whitehall. Police re-inforcements are moving in.
The protestors are getting direct reports of thousands killed over the weekend by Sri Lankan military, while western media reports civilian deaths in their hundreds.
- Just after 2pm police started trying to push demonstrators from the westminster bridge road into the square. tamils are all shouting "no violence" and standing their ground peacefully. there is still a tense stand-off.
- By 2.30, police have managed to clear a bit of the road nearest Parliament and have blocked it with their own vans. Lines of police are still trying to persuade people to get up from the ground and are pushing forward gradually, intimidating and pressuring, but no cops in riot gear and no overt violence. the crowd contains many women and children.
- Over the next hour, police slowly moved the crowd back, sometimes using force. there were a few arrests, and by 15:30 the westminster bridge road section was clear. There is a line of police vans all along the road in front of parliament to stop people surging back onto the road there, but the area at the side of the square is still completely blocked. TSG were deployed but not in riot gear. Some people were hurt as they were pulled to their feet and in the crush, but no serious injuries reported.
- 18.00 crowd has now been moved off road in front of westminster, a line of police vans act as a barricade preventing anyone getting out onto road again. some traffic can flow between these vans and parliament, so bridge is re-opened. tamils still occupy the road on the great george street side and that is all closed to traffic
- at around 19.30 some tamil and other peace activists climbed on to the roof of westminster abbey. for a while they had a banner up, but high winds were making it dangerous. they have found a safe spot and are intending to remain there overnight. police have not so far tried to remove them.
- at 22.00 tonight, several protestors still on roof of westminster abbey. parl sq partly open but great george street still blockaded.
- as numbers dwindled and families went home, police pushed protestors off most of great george street and back into the square. with midnight approaching, they are preparing to reopen the road to traffic. meanwhile the rooftop occupation continues.
- 01.00 (tues) protest contained in the square again now. line of vans removed. cage/double metal barriers up again. abbey rooftop still occupied. jamcam currently online again - it's been quite intermittent all day.
- in the end there were dozens of arrests, and quite a few injuries. the protestors on the abbey were eventually removed by a specialist police team at 6am on the tuesday. after consultation with the abbey, no charges were laid, even though the protestors had been displaying a banner supporting the LTTE, which is of course supposedly unlawful under terrorism legislation.
- british tamils (over a quarter of a million), have been lobbying their MPs for action against sri lanka's genocide
- they demand strong pressure on the sri lankan govt including economic sanctions
- the sri lankan government still enjoys full recognition and privileges in the international community
- the department for international development has just allocated more than £7 million for "humanitarian aid" to sri lanka, but meanwhile british tax payers help fund an IMF loan of $1.9 billion to help sri lanka buy more chemical weapons and cluster bombs.
- the sri lankan government's aim is to wipe out the LTTE administration which has the democratic support of the majority of tamil people. by using starvation, and an economic and medical blockade, the government is wiping out innocent tamil civilians - in essence committing genocide.
What can you do:
- support tamils in parliament square
- contact your mp demanding urgent action
- sign online petition at petitions.number10.gov.uk/suspendSrilanka/
- boycott all sri lankan products (inc ceylon tea and sri lankan airlines
- do not holiday in sri lanka
- tell your friends, relatives and neighbours
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