The Peace Camp in Parliament Square was brutally raided by armed police with dogs at 8am yesterday morning and its leaders were arrested and dragged away in handcuffs.
Brian Haw has been camped in Parliament Square opposite the Houses of Parliament since 2001, protesting first against the cruel and deadly United Nations sanctions on Iraq and then against the Iraq and Afghan Wars and the slaughter that they caused.
Barbara Tucker, who joined the camp several years ago, was also arrested and there were other arrests.
In 2007, Haw won a legal battle to remain in place.
Charlotte, aged 22, told News Line what happened: ‘I felt really bad for Brian Haw.
‘He needs his crutches to walk, but they just dragged him across the square.
‘He was shouting “I need my crutches”, but they picked him up, first two officers either side of him, with handcuffs behind his back – he was screaming with pain.
‘Then two more officers picked up his legs and they carried him out, face down like an animal, it was terrible.’
Jules, a veteran of the peace camp, said: ‘Brian and Babs think that what happened was actually all about removing them today.
‘It seems so odd that they chose to search the tents today.
‘We are very worried about them, but we won’t be put off.
‘Brian will always think that whatever they do to him is nothing compared to the suffering endured by the victims of these wars.’
Equity member Michael Culver told News Line: ‘Brian has been here 10 years and I’ve been supporting him for 10 years.
‘Presumably they thought he had a bomb in his tent,’ Culver added sarcastically.
Young protester Mark said: ‘The police declared unilaterally that whether Brian and Barbara liked it or not they were going to invade their homes.
‘Brian and Barbara said they wouldn’t accept it, furnishing the police with previous dates and occasions when they had suffered brutality at the hands of the police under the pretext of a search.’
Carl said: ‘The police announced that they planned to come inside, search all the tents and bring dogs on site.’
George said: ‘When Brian was arrested his hands were shackled behind his back.
‘He has vertebrae injuries which would have been exacerbated by this.
‘We know Boris Johnson wants the place cleared, but there is a determination to stay.’
A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police told News Line yesterday afternoon: ‘A man and a woman were arrested in Parliament Square this morning and they remain in custody in a central London police station.
‘The man was arrested on suspicion of obstructing the police, the woman was arrested under Section 5 of the Public Order Act.’
She said that they had not yet been charged but that they remained in custody.