UK: Brown to end Blair’s ban of Iraq protests

Video of anti Iraq war march in London, England, September 2002.

From The Sunday Times in Britain:

Brown to allow Iraq protests

David Cracknell Political Editor

GORDON BROWN is to make a symbolic gesture to critics of the Iraq war by allowing antiwar protesters to demonstrate and march outside parliament.

This will reverse legislation introduced by Tony Blair two years ago to restrict the rights of people to camp on Parliament Square and install banners criticising the government.

The move, one of the announcements planned for the new prime minister’s first 100 days in office, comes amid encouraging opinion polls for Brown. It will be an early sign that Brown intends to be more sympathetic to critics of the war, although it will disappoint those who have been calling for him to declare an immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

The restored right to protest outside parliament will be combined with plans to bolster the protection of the Palace of Westminster and key ministries and government buildings along Whitehall. The Sunday Times has seen a memo from Sir Richard Mottram, chairman of the joint intelligence committee, outlining plans to erect barriers, walls, balustrades and bollards around Parliament Square.

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