Demonstrators from the group "Occupy London" are in the fourth day of protests at Parliament Square in London, and they say they're not leaving, SIA reports quoting the AA.
Around 30 of the protesters remained in Parliament Square even after hundreds of police launched an offensive against them on Sunday, confiscating protesters tarpaulins and making one arrest. The possession of items that could be used for sleeping in Parliament Square was made illegal, under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act of 2011.
But the group intends to remain in the square until the end of the week. “This demonstration is to fundamentally challenge the democratic system in which we live in the UK,” a spokesperson for "Occupy London" Matt Weathers told the Anadolu Agency (AA) on Monday.
“The police have tried tormenting and intimidation tactics, have tried to exhaust people, but the response has been very positive from us,” Weathers said. But he thought that protest in London had already succeeded, “The issues we are talking about have already been brought to the attention of the public….it’s only going to grow. We're inviting people to join a real democracy.”
One demonstrator, Maria, at the protest site with her five-month old boy Luca, said: “The police lie about the law for their own purposes. But the feeling has been positive, even though the police are trying everything in their power to intimidate and harass and undermine our human rights,” she told AA.
The group Occupy London have expressed their solidarity with those protesting in Hong Kong and are asking for a different form of democracy, something that is “decentralized,” said Maria. The group also objects to cuts in spending, the privatisation of the NHS, and the bedroom tax -- a cut in benefits for those in social housing if they have spare rooms. "If we lived in a democracy these policies wouldn’t be in place," Maria insisted.
Maria told AA that she was frustrated by the police actions, “We would love to be able to be getting on with our protest and discuss our ideas, but the state has other ideas…They want to get in the way,” she said.
"Occupy London protesters told AA that they intended to stay until the end of the week, regardless of police tactics. They said that their numbers had increased, particularly after the appearance of popular comedian Russell Brand on Sunday, who arrived bringing pizzas for the demonstrators.
A Metropolitan police spokesperson said that police were enforcing a notice to disperse on Sunday evening. "Police officers continue to enforce the laws and regulations in and around Parliament Square," the spokesperson said.