Monday, April 11, 2011

Banning peaceful parties - whatever next in our ‘democracy’

This a guest post from a Camden resident: Way back in January the campaigning group for an end to the British Monarchy and for ‘a democratic alternative’ started organising in earnest for a big street party for the Royal Wedding day.

It was billed as ‘providing a family friendly public space away from the hype of the Royal Wedding’ with food, games, entertainment and to celebrate democracy and people power - An alternative for those people who are not big fans of the monarchy. It seemed like a perfectly inoffensive and fun way to protest without being ‘spoil sports’

Republic supplied an event management plan to the police, and received an approval from the planning authority: Camden Council as shown here:

And so they began publicising the event.

But there has been a very sudden and disappointing turn around as Camden Council has today withdrawn the approval.

The Cabinet Councillor for the Environment, Cllr Sue Vincent has written to those objecting and stated that local residents ‘are concerned rightly or wrongly that this event could attract people who wish to take advantage of the cover of this event’ and that the local residents bore some brunt of the recent anti-cuts anarchic bad behaviour!

This is a poor excuse and panders to the ignorant view that Republicans are Anarchists or Leftists. Many are on the left but Republic states regularly that they have members across the political spectrum and more to the point; all their demonstrations have always been legal and not disruptive in the slightest.

The Police did not consider the event to be a problem and certainly not an event with a potential to cause disorder as shown here in their emails:

Contact Councillor Sue Vincent at Camden Council and explain why this event should be able to take place in a street like everyone else’s street party on 29th April. Email: and also Rachel Stopard, (Head of Camden Council Culture and Environment)

Compared to the many other ‘not the royal Wedding’ Events taking place in other parts of the country. Republic’s central event is possibly the least provocative.

Poor Camden is the odd one out. Here are some other events where celebrating republicanism is being allowed:

Republic are currently considering legal action but the event will definitely take place, if not in Covent Garden then elsewhere.

Camden Council, a Labour run Council has made a gross error of judgment, in denying a sizable community the right to hold a street party the same day that so many other street parties will be taking place. And let’s face it, the vast majority are doing it to bring people together for fun (as are Republic) rather than to celebrate a wedding of two very remote people.


Anonymous said...

It's worse for ex-royals. For years the Austria Republic banned all members of the Habsburg family who had not renounced their claims to the throne. The Italian constitution was more discriminating only barring Umberto's male descendants from Italy. The Italian royals were only allowed back on to Italian soil in 2002 once they had sworn an oath to the Republic.

Anonymous said...

i doubt very much if that would happen here. Certainly Republic isn't calling for the Royals to be banished to other countries.but this leaves out the far bigger question of our failing democracy in this country. As Republic says' The monarchy is not only an unaccountable and expensive institution, unrepresentative of modern Britain, it also gives politicians almost limitless power'

Anonymous said...

I'm just pointing out Repubicians can be nasty too. What happens if Tuvalu keeps the monarchy in some future Republic - do they get the Crown Jewells.

Anonymous said...

The crown jewels and all the royal palaces should be for all the people to view and visit.
Versailles palace gets far more people than the restricted Buckingham Palace. Even'Visit London' admits that bookings across London go down when royal weddings are on. Bookings to escape out of the country and to the countryside are up however!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe Sue Vincent is allowed to voice anything after what has come to light in the papers in using her power to allocate herself a flat(so the far-tip of the iceberg).
Someone honest should replace her a.s.a.p. then we can actually get some honest work done in 'Camden for the people', not to benefit greedy individuals.

Anonymous said...

update: After much protest the event is now taking place at Red Lion Square, Holborn! from 11:30 am to 4pm. There is also a big party being held at London Bridge in the evening: