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Occupy Democracy in Parliament Square

A recent protest movement to reuse London’s Parliament Square as a space for political discourse has been met with oppressive policing.
October 29, 2014, 5am PDT | Maayan Dembo | @DJ_Mayjahn
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As reported in the Guardian by David Graeber, the Occupy Democracy movement attempting to "turn Parliament Square back to the purposes to which it was, by most accounts, originally created: a place for public meetings and discussions, with an eye to bringing all the issues ignored by politicians in Westminster back into public debate," began last Tuesday and since then has been under attack.

According to British law, permanent tent cities are illegal. Organizers were aiming to maintain a 24-hour presence, but police have been finding nearly every excuse to storm into a demonstration, lecture, or workshop at any given time and confine the protestors into smaller spaces further and further.

Graeber discusses the role of policing public space and activism by writing, "When people get together, brilliant ideas invariably emerge. But it’s impossible to bring people together unless there is a location, a place where they can always go, 24/7, to meet people and begin to have conversations and make plans. This is precisely what our political authorities have decided that Londoners must never again be allowed to have."

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Published on Monday, October 27, 2014 in Guardian
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