London: Occupy Democracy charges dismissed in court

12 peaceful protesters have charges dropped in first two trials.
Judge rules tarpaulin not a structure designed or adapted for sleeping.
£1,945,279 spent in policing operation between mid-October and mid-February.
Police criticised for labelling Occupy Movement ‘Domestic Extremists.’
Judicial Review against Mayor’s decision to close Parliament Square Gardens in run-up to election continues.

Charges against 12 Occupy Democracy [1] protesters were dropped yesterday in the first two trials relating to the peaceful pro-democracy group’s occupation of Parliament Square in October 2014. Charges included refusing to comply with a direction to leave and for being in possession of a prohibited article, namely tarpaulin. A further trial relating to charges of aggravated trespass was dropped previously.

From the 17th October 2014 Occupy Democracy held a ten-day occupation outside the Houses of Parliament to highlight the deficit in our democracy. During that time protesters faced increasingly oppressive and violent tactics from the Metropolitan Police aiming to suppress the protest. These tactics included kettling, intimidation, confiscation of property, inflicting pain through use of pressure points and pulling protesters across the ground.[2] [Read More]