Leading article: They will not be moved

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The Independent Online

The violence that followed the mammoth march at the weekend and tarnished the student protests late last year is, we report today, supplying a pretext for draconian new restrictions on civil liberties as the royal wedding looms. But one long-standing obstacle to the super-regimented capital the authorities apparently plan for 29 April is proving untouchable.

The peace camp at Parliament Square, it seems, will not be moved. Westminster Council has run out of time to evict the remaining campers, who moved to the pavement after being forced off the square earlier this month.

Of course, the powers-that-be want to present a perfect cityscape to television viewers around the world. But the Parliament Square peace camp has become a part of London; let it have its last hurrah. Rather than treating it as an eyesore, they should celebrate it as a rather special example of local colour, of a piece with the royal couple's buffet reception and request for donations to charity in lieu of presents.

And if, after the ceremony, the royal carriage were to leave Westminster Abbey and take a turn around the square before heading for the Mall, and were the bride to throw her bouquet in a certain Mr Haw's direction, well, that would be wonderful, too.

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