Jenny Jones. Green Assembly Member for London, was arrested this morning at Parliament Square when visiting the protestors there. She was witness to a close friend being arrested as part of the protest in defence of civil liberties and the right to protest. She was released soon afterwards.
Jenny is former member of the Metropolitan Police Authority and is deputy chair of the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee. She has been a consistent advocate of civil liberties and has worked closely with the police on how protests should be facilitated.
Jenny Jones said:
The police have a duty to facilitate peaceful protest in this country which people have a legal right to do, but that appears to end as soon as you come within shouting distance of the Westminster village. The people who run this country should not be able to tuck demonstrators away out of sight. Parliament needs to listen and people should have the right to get their voices heard.Responding to Jenny's arrest, Green Party leader Natalie Bennett immediately tweeted: "Proud of @GreenJennyJones for standing up for the right of peaceful protest. Let's defend democracy."
Bennett later added:
There is cause for serious concern about the nature of the policing of the Occupy demonstration. I spoke at the event on Saturday after the TUC march and there was at that time a large number of police present - no doubt at very considerable expense - for a small, peaceful demonstration that involves workshops and speakers such as economists, scientists and politicians.
There are reports that protesters had umbrellas, cash and other items of no conceivable aggressive use confiscated, and that police in large numbers have tried to make their continued presence as physically uncomfortable as possible.
Prime Minister David Cameron was recently rightly speaking up for the rights of free assembly of the people of Hong Kong. He might like to look out his office window and ensure that the same rights are being respected in London.