Anti-Monarchy campaign group Republic have condemned attempts by both Houses of Parliament and the Met Police to suppress peaceful protest against the monarchy during the State Opening of Parliament, set to take place on November 7th.
Emails from Westminster City Council show both Houses of Parliament and the police objecting to a republican protest on Parliament Square. The objections claim noise from the protests would 'scare horses' and "cause significant disruption to the business of the House."
The protest will go ahead, but has been moved to the pavement on the corner of Parliament Street, near Westminster station.
Republic's CEO, Graham Smith, has written to the police and the speakers of the Commons and Lords, raising concerns about the restrictions. Republic will also be contacting the council and GLA to seek assistance in resolving the issue.
Speaking for Republic today, Graham Smith said:
"It beggars belief that no-one is allowed to peacefully protest outside our Parliament during the State Opening."
"Restrictions put in place by the police are disproportionate and intolerable. Any legitimate security concerns should accommodate protests, not exclude them."
"The objections from parliament are nonsensical and profoundly undemocratic. They fly in the face of democratic principles and the fundamental right to peacefully protest."
"I have written to parliament and the police, expressing my concern that legitimate protest is being kept away from parliament."
"Were such objections allowed to prevail it would mean that citizens could only protest against parliament when parliament was empty of MPs and not engaged in the very business about which people wish to protest."
"As the arrangements stand, our parliament will be opened in the chamber of the unelected Lords, by an unelected monarch, while the public are kept at a considerable distance from the building and the proceedings."
"These objections are a clear attempt to suppress and diminish the right to protest."
"The protest will go ahead on November 7th, with hundreds of republicans expected to gather on the corner of Parliament Street near Westminster station."
"As Republic has made clear before, we will not be deterred from protesting against the monarchy. And we'll continue to promote a democratic alternative - an elected, accountable Head of State.
See the text of the objections HERE.
See the emails sent to the Speakers of the Commons and Lords HERE.
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