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Churchill statue converted to extermination camp

July 3, 2009

Indimedia London – Churchill statue converted to extermination camp

In a bold occupation at 2.30 this morning, a woman from peacestrike.org.uk has converted the Parliament Square Churchill statue into a mock-up of a Sri Lankan death camp. She intends to stay there as long as possible to highlight the plight of hundreds of thousands of Tamil civilians facing threat of starvation, rape, torture or murder. phone interview link below.

check back here for timeline updates later in the day

TIME LINE

19.30 after the full eight hours detention at belgravia police station, apparently waiting for an officer to interview her, she was released on unconditional bail, but warned that as there is another bail on her (see previous stories about tamil flag) that if she gets up to anything else she may be served an ASBO. that should be legally interesting – an ASBO against a totally peaceful protestor!

she has been warned too that she may be summonsed for criminal damage, but as there isn’t any, that seems unlikely.

further, she was charged with a public order offence of ‘threatening words or behaviour likely to cause alarm or distress’. unluckily, churchill’s grandson, the thoroughly despicable war profiteer, nicholas soames, happened to be making a rare appearance at the house, and he apparently went ape at someone using his grandad’s effigy for bringing attention to genocide.

this was also possibly the reason why westminster council officials, having admitted to maria that they should really put up scaffolding, ended up ignoring health and safety guidelines and using a ladder and wire cutters to get past the barbed wire and dismantle her tableau.

finally, she is charged with breaking various parks regulations about affixing articles to statues.

she refused a caution, and is bailed until 13th july. i’d put favourable odds on all charges being dropped.

10.30 protestor being removed from the plinth. despite her being more than a metre above concrete, it appears no specialist police team was used. instead the barbed wire was taken down by westminster council employees backed up by several police, and she was manhandled off the plinth. it is not yet known which police station she was taken to, or what if any charges have been made. the statue, as can be seen in the last picture, has been left unmarked, so criminal damage is unlikely.

it is a measure of what a political hot potato this issue is that the authorities were prepared to seemingly break health and safety guidelines to abort this completely peaceful protest before politicians arrive for prime minister’s question time. so much for facilitating lawful protest!

9.50 police van in attendance at 9.13 – jamcam has now been switched off. apparently a lot of pressure from westminster to remove protestor. westminster council teams trying to remove barbed wire. not succesful yet.

FULL STORY

while the western media reports the “civil war” in sri lanka over, the british tamil community is receiving a very different story from the little news that trickles out about their families and friends back home.

this was no civil war, it was a genocide.

the un high commissioner for human rights has reported that during the sri lankan military assault, over 2800 tamil civilians were killed and 7000 injured in the so-called ‘no fire zone’ from shelling by sri lankan forces. un secretary ban ki-moon said after a short visit to the war zone that the civilian death toll may have exceeded 20,000. added to this is the report in the telegraph (24 may) that up to 30,000 tamil civilians have been severely injured (ie lost limbs) and urgently require medical support.

the government kept denying it, but aid workers witnessed widespread use of chemical weapons and cluster bombs in situations banned by international conventions.

now, more than a quarter of a million civilians are currently held behind barbed wire in sri lankan makeshift military prisons. there is little water, sanitation, food or medicine, and there are continual stories of rapes, beatings and disappearances, including children. a whole swathe of international aid organisations have unanimously stated these camps fall far short of any international standards and that shelter, food and medical aid is inadequate, with malnutrition and starvation common. aid agencies are not given proper access to the camps and those that are, are not allowed contact with the detainees. the united nations has published a report suggesting at least 13,000 people have disappeared from the camps. sri lankan army has been spotted digging large craters for unidentified bodies.

frustrated at the complete lack of international censure, and the silence from the mainstream media, the campaigner from peacestrike.org went up on the churchill statue at around 2.30 this morning and built a mini concentration camp out of wooden struts and real barbed wire for the press and for parliament (prime minister’s questions this morning). she was spotted quite quickly and a police van attended at 2.44 (see jamcam). she assured them she was taking care not to cause any criminal damage they have so far left her in peace to continue her protest, which she hopes to continue for 36 hours.

good source of info at http://www.act-now.info

protestor’s website peacestrike org.uk

Email Contact email: rikkiindymedia@gmail.com

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