April 29, 2011
A campaigner has been arrested at a house in Cambridge a day before he planned to protest against the royal wedding in London. Charlie Veitch was arrested at about 1700 BST on Thursday on suspicion of “conspiracy to cause a public nuisance”. His arrest sparked a freedom of speech demonstration outside Parkside Police Station, Cambridge, where he was held. Mr Veitch uses a megaphone in protests and runs the Love Police website. On Friday, the Metropolitan Police confirmed Mr Veitch was now in custody in London. Mr Veitch’s girlfriend Silkie Carlo, 21, of Cambridge, said she was with her partner when police arrested him.
“I am very concerned that not only has somebody been arrested on an issue of free speech, and arrested for something he might say, he’s been held for almost 24 hours,” she told the BBC News website. “It’s quite outrageous. “I know some people worry about anarchists but police know that Charlie uses a megaphone. There’s a strong non-violent tradition of anarchism.” Freedom of speech activist Terri Oaks, who lives in Cambridge and attended the demonstration outside Parkside, said he was appalled at such a lack of “respect for the right to protest”.
Mr Veitch said he was concerned at anarchists being arrested for offences that had not taken place. He said on his website that he planned a protest to disrupt the royal wedding. He said he had “no issue with two young people in love getting married” but was against the huge cost of celebrations. A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said Mr Veitch was still in custody after being arrested on suspicion of “conspiracy to cause a public nuisance and breach of the peace”.
April 28, 2011
Three anti-capitalist activists who were planning a mock execution of Prince Andrew with a guillotine to mark the royal wedding have been arrested and detained at Lewisham police station. Officers arrested Professor Chris Knight, a leading member of the G20 Meltdown group, outside his home in Brockley, south east London at around 6.15pm, according to an eyewitness. Also arrested were Knight’s partner Camilla Power and Patrick Macroidan, who was dressed as an executioner, said fellow activist Mike Raddie, of north London, who was with them.
The three activists were preparing to drive their theatrical props, including a home-made guillotine and effigies, into central London when three police cars and two police vans drew up near Knight’s home in Brockley, said Raddie. “Chris was arrested first. He lay down on the pavement opposite his house to make the arrest difficult,” said Raddie. “He was pulled up by four police officers and two bundled him into the back of a van. “Camilla was put in the back of one of the police cars. Patrick was dressed up as an executioner when he was arrested.”
Raddie said the police also seized a van containing the group’s props, which included a wooden guillotine. “It’s a working guillotine but it doesn’t have a blade – just wood painted silver,” he added. A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: “This evening, 28 April, officers arrested three people – two males aged 68 and 45, and a 60-year-old woman – in Wickham Road, SE4 on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance and breach of the peace.
April 29, 2011
(Reuters) – Police arrested 55 people in London on Friday for a range of mostly minor offences as the force mounted one of the biggest security operations ever seen in the capital around the royal wedding. Around 5,000 officers were on duty to control the huge flag-waving crowds, alongside around 1,000 soldiers lining the route from Westminster Abbey to Queen Elizabeth’s residence, Buckingham Palace. Specialist teams with sniffer dogs had patrolled the procession route searching for explosives, while helicopters buzzed overhead as part of the operation to protect Prince William and his new wife Kate Middleton.
The Metropolitan Police said there had been 55 arrests, with most of those detained for minor public order offences. Police arrested 10 people at Charing Cross railway station after they were found to be carrying anti-royalist placards. One million people lined the route between the church and Buckingham Palace and 500,000 watched the couple appear on the palace balcony after the service, police estimated.
Police said they were aware of about 10 protesters in Soho Square from the “Right Royal Orgy Group” and they were monitoring them. A handful of protesters gathered in Trafalgar Square, where crowds were watching the proceedings on a giant screen, and displayed a banner complaining about government cuts to public services and Britain’s military role overseas. Earlier, three people — two men aged 45 and 68 and a woman of 60 — were detained in southeast London on suspicion of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance and breach of the peace. They were suspected of planning to behead royal effigies.
A fourth person, described by police as “a well-known anarchist,” was arrested in Cambridge, northeast of London. “A number of individuals were arrested who we felt were intent on causing disruption, committing acts of criminality or likely to cause alarm, harassment or distress to the vast majority of people who wanted to come and celebrate this joyous occasion,” said Assistant Commissioner Lynne Owens. A lawyer representing some of those held said that police had abused their power by using security concerns as a pretext to block protests that could embarrass the royal family. “They are just not playing by the legal rules. The policing is more to do with protecting the pageantry of this occasion … and that is not their role,” said Mike Schwarz, a criminal lawyer at law firm Bindmans.