The Wedding March: Uninvited Guests

On 29 April, the streets around Westminster will be crowded with people eager to get a look at the happy couple and be part of what is being billed as an historic event. The guest list includes celebrities, politicians and six of their former flames, but there's one group of people who won't be welcome.

Parliament Square, where Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament are located, has been home to a peace camp since anti-war campaigner Brian Haw set up there in 2001, and has become an unofficial London landmark. But in the run-up to the Royal Wedding, the powers that be have been trying to shut it down.

If the Greater London Authority and Westminster Council have their way, the protesters will be removed and fined £1,000. Unluckily for them, their court hearing has been set for 9 May, meaning that whatever the outcome, Haw and his fellow activists will have ringside seats for the wedding.

Although the camp is likely to be blocked from view of television cameras by the members of the military who will be lining the procession route, its presence is a minor victory. At the heart of the flag-waving, patriotic masses who will be out in force next week will be 14 tents, along with placards and pictures of war victims courtesy of a small but dedicated group of people putting their ideals ahead of their personal comforts by engaging in peaceful protest.

It's ironic that the very authorities boasting about the number of people who plan to camp out to catch a glimpse of our future king are desperate to remove the protesters legally occupying Parliament Square. We're told time and again that the eyes of the world will be on London next Friday. If that's true, then I want the world to see who we really are.

by Kaite Welsh
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2 Comments Have Been Posted


I really like this blog series so far! I've been so bewildered at my mother's excitement over the royal wedding (she wishes she could skip work to watch, and she's considered waking up before 5 a.m. that day to catch some before she leaves for work). It's good to see a new perspective on this event!

As a Brit, I'm disappointed

As a Brit, I'm disappointed with this article...was it supposed to end that abruptly?! There was so much more to say on this topic and whilst I'm pleased that Welsh has chosen to highlight this issue to a wider audience but its hardly going to whip anyone into outrage or even stimulate curiosity. I guess I don't really understand the point of these articles so far. They don't really seem to be representing a British Feminist standpoint or advocating any radical action or critique at all. I hope people do look into the Peace Camp at Parliamentary Square but I think a certain amount of wit, insight and/or passion would have helped this article reach a wider number of people. Obviously, I don't know how much the piece has been edited or shaped by Bitch, but I'm getting sick of reading supposedly "radical" or even left-wing writers seducing people into comas with their list-like rhetoric, especially where the Royal Wedding is concerned. I was looking forward to this series from Bitch to provide what the majority of British publications are not and instead, it has merely replicated everything else out there. Shame.

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