Monday, 28 February 2011

Democracy in action? Cuts protesters barred from debate.

A group of protesters entered the Town Hall while others continued to protest outside

I am unable to bring you a report on tonight's Brent Council meeting, which was voting on a cuts package that will seriously damage the people of Brent,  because police barred me, and many others, from attending the meeting of the Council. Admission was by ticket only with a limited number issued. There were empty seats in the chamber and on other occasions the public have been allowed to stand. Not tonight.

I was told by the police that they had been called by the Council and instructed to remove me from the building  (Brent Town Hall)  because I was trespassing.  When I said that I was there to see democracy in action I was told that democracy was voting in elections and protesting was nothing to do with democracy. When I said that I wanted to report on the debate and the arguments for and against the cuts, I was told that it was for the Council to decide whether they wanted their proceedings reported and that Parliament  didn't let the public into all their debates.

Frustrated campaigners continued to protest outside the Council chamber for some time until they left in orderly fashion. They left having made their point that they were not prepared to accept the supine position of Labour councillors who appeared prepared to damage the very people that they had been elected to serve and protect. 

Groups from a variety of campaigns had lobbied outside the Town Hall from 6pm in a good-humoured but determined show of solidarity.

1 comment:

Elaine said...

Martin- I wondered where you were! This is shocking. I did get a ticket and I've written an account of the meeting here. It was just as you would have expected- very depressing and no sign of democracy in action whatsoever.