In the centre of London, opposite the Houses of Parliament, Babs Tucker is entering the 22nd day of her hunger strike, right under our government’s nose.
The Parliament Square Peace Campaign has protested in the same place since the 2nd June 2001 when it was established by Brian Haw to protest against government complicity in war around the world. Unfortunately Brian died in 2011, but Babs and other members of the campaign have continued to protest 24 hours a day.
Despite harassment from the police and the Westminster City Council, the campaign has kept going with a strong presence around the clock throughout the 11 years.
Mainstream media interest has come and gone over that time, and has included interviews from press and TV stations around the world.
In an attempt to remove an ‘embarrassment’ from outside the seat of UK government, the city council removed a small tent Babs and her supporters used as a shelter. That was 368 days ago, and Babs has suffered freezing temperatures, snow, rain, and everything else the British weather could throw at her.
An extract from Babs entry on her blog.
‘Hunger Strike: Started on December 27th 2012.
My name is Babs Tucker.
****Freedom**** of Expression is the most important right you can exercise to bring about change peacefully.
I did not come to Parliament Square to die and I do not want to die. I came to Parliament Square because people everywhere are entitled to – live – in peace, without the constant illegal wars being waged by government.
I have been campaigning in Parliament Square, with Brian Haw’s Parliament Square Peace Campaign, 24/7 for seven years, during which time I have been unlawfully arrested 47 times and imprisoned twice without trial in Holloway Women’s Prison in North London.
Our campaign’s 24/7 presence reflects the fact that while wars rage and Parliament continues to only sit part-time, with many long breaks, the people do care about one another, all the time, in all weather.
We remind government that the horrendous brutality of the illegal wars have led to millions of innocent civilians suffering and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan.
On January 16th 2012, Westminster Council along with many Metropolitan Police endangered our lives by stealing our tents and their contents from Parliament Square in the middle of winter when the night time temperatures regularly plummet to well below zero degrees Celcius.
I was not prosecuted within twenty eight days as necessary under S145 (5) of the newly introduced Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011. The state knew they were breaching Health and Safety Law and wanted by making our physical survival impossible, for us to just walk away.’
We recommend you read the full article on Babs blog