Anti-Afghan war protesters get reprieve from eviction in London

A Court of Appeal judge gave a reprieve to peace campaigners who have protest much-condemned war in Afghanistan facing eviction.

Anti-Afghan war protesters get reprieve from eviction in London

 

A Court of Appeal judge gave a reprieve on Friday to peace campaigners who have protest much-condemned war in Afghanistan facing eviction from a historic square outside the Houses of Parliament.

Justice Janet Smith granted a temporary stay after London Mayor Boris Johnson won the legal right on Tuesday to evict protesters, who have camped for several months in London's Parliament Square.

Campaigners lodged applications for leave to appeal against the eviction order before a Friday afternoon deadline.

Smith ruled that the applications should go before a full court as soon as possible and that the stay would remain in place until then.

"It is plainly in the public interest that this matter is dealt with expeditiously. I think also that this is a matter of some real public importance," Smith said, according to the Press Association.

One protester, Brian Haw, has been in the square since mid-2001, his placards and anti-Afghan war banners now a fixture of parliament's surroundings.

The tent camp, a forest of placards and banners with slogans such as "We can stop the war in Afghanistan", has swelled to fill most of the square in the last few months.

Authorities regard the camp as an eyesore close to some of London's top tourist attractions.

Thousands of tourists filing past Big Ben and Westminster Abbey each day stare in amazement at the sprawling camp.

After the hearing, some campaigners staged a sit-down protest in the road outside parliament, disrupting traffic.

Protester Mike Raddie, 39, who has been camping in the square since May 1, said it was strange that the mayor was seeking to oust the protesters.

"He (Boris Johnson) says he fully supports peaceful protest, but he says this has gone on for too long, or it doesn't look pretty. Protests aren't meant to look pretty," he told Reuters.

Asked what would happen if the police tried to forcibly evict the protesters, he said: "We're not violent, but we will peacefully resist. We'll make it difficult for them. Some people are planning to chain themselves to trees, other to car engines."

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Temmuz 2010, 10:05
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