Arrests follow Westminster protest over squatting
Tuesday 01 November 2011
At least 12 people were arrested by police after a large group of protesters staged a demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament over plans to criminalise squatting.
Around 150 people gathered in Parliament Square in Westminster shortly after midnight in the pre-planned demonstration, according to reports.
BBC Radio 5 Live said a number of scuffles broke out between police and protesters, with officers using batons and loud hailers in an attempt to disperse the crowds.
The majority of protesters moved away from the scene peacefully, but around 50 people refused to leave claiming they were holding a Halloween picnic, it was reported.
They were held within a police cordon and a number were arrested before the area was cleared by around 3am, eyewitnesses said.
Scotland Yard confirmed that 12 arrests have been made in connection with the incident, but said the number could rise.
Politicians are due to debate The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill later today which proposes that squatting is made a criminal offence.
Under section 132 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (Socpa) - (April 2005), organising or participating in an "unauthorised" demonstration within 1km of Parliament is a criminal offence.
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 100,000 back our campaign
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
- 3 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
- 4 Refugee crisis: Aylan's life was full of fear - in death, he is part of 'humanity washed ashore'
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train