by New Worker correspondent
THE LONDON Borough of Westminster last week passed a new by-law in order to demolish the Parliament Square peace camp and to ban protesters from a large part of central London.
The council aims to clear the area in time for the Olympics.
The by-law gives Westminster council the power to clear 15 streets around the square as well as other nearby footways, pavements and gardens.
The law marks the final act in a 10-year occupation that began when anti-war campaigner Brian Haw set up camp. The council regarded it as an eyesore and national disgrace.
The law, which makes it an offence not to comply with the order to remove a tent, should be in place by March, meaning the square would be cleared in time for London 2012.
Maria Gallastegui, 53, who has been camped outside Parliament Square protesting for five and a half years, said: "We have a nation built on a proud heritage of peaceful protest. It is crucial now more than ever to keep our stand at Parliament Square as we are heading to another war, this time with Iran, and people need to know that. We represent victims of war.
"Parliament Square is the most symbolic position for grass roots campaigners to highlight their causes. It is a world stage that is photographed every day by tourists and locals alike. We have a powerful message and we should be allowed to send it out."