‘Tamil Protests’ Archive

Maria wins in court

On 2nd October Maria won a case in Westminster Magistrates Court against a charge under the Public Order Act. She was arrested for ‘insulting behaviour’ when she climbed up the Churchill Statue in Parliament Square with placards highlighting the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka held in atrocious conditions in military camps. Maria was charged after a complaint by Nicholas Soames MP, Winston Churchill’s grandson, who happened to be driving into the Houses of Parliament at the time.

Maria represented herself and successfully argued that any offence caused to Nicholas Soames was unintentional and that references on her placards to nazi concentration camps was legitimate for campaigning purposes.

See the story of Maria on the statue from July

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Maria creates Sri Lankan concentration camp protest on Churchill’s statue

In the early hours of this morning, Maria occupied the Churchill statue in Parliament Square. Surrounded by barbed wire as a symbol of the concentration camps in the Tamil area of Sri Lanka, she is highlighting the plight of hundreds of thousands of ordinary Tamil civilians who are being held in atrocious conditions in military camps.

The camps break many international conventions, and there are many reports of disappearances,rapes and torture. Also, medical personnel are denied access, and international NGOs and medical organisations cannot get into the area with any aid. The Sri Lankan Government has imposed draconian restrictions on journalism, so the only news and monitoring is at grassroots level.

The action at Parliament Square is a striking image, with Churchill surrounded by barbed wire and placards about the Tamil Plight.

For more images and a report, see here.

Mass protest march: Lets March To Save Our People

Saturday, 20 June 2009, central London

Starts at 1pm from Hyde Park Corner – Park Lane (Nearest Stations: Hyde Park Corner / Marble Arch) Ends at Temple – Embankment

We feel very strongly about the on-going Tamil protest, now entering its 11th week of occupation at Parliament Square.

It is the most extraordinary campaign we have ever witnessed, and the protesters have behaved in a truly exemplary manner. Against all the odds, they have become a powerful movement. Of all the groups to enter the square and challenge the Government directly, these people would have been very easy to dismiss as too quiet, too nice and therefore ineffective. How wrong that would have been! All who have been involved in their campaign can only marvel at these truly amazing people.

They originally came last summer as a small unnoticeable group, who wanted to highlight the impending genocide. They wanted support from our Government and to raise awareness. They got very little if no attention.

Just before the Genocide they exploded into this huge movement of 200,000 plus! On the 11th of April 2009, they marched through central London in a peaceful manner with no arrests. There was very little mainstream media coverage. They flew their national flag without incident.

On the 6th April they filled up the whole of Parliament Square to bursting point, over-spilled, and blocked the road overnight, sealing off Westminster Bridge. This was the start of their remarkable 24hr on-going occupation of Parliament Square that was to break the mould in modern day protesting.

They chanted
“We want ceasefire!
We want ceasefire!
When do we want it…NOW!”
The volume was deafening to the ear, they were so passionate and distressed. (more…)

The battle of the flags

Police have been arresting Tamils waving their national flag in Parliament Square. Maria from Peacestrike has been testing the legality of this by standing outside New Scotland Yard and arguing it out on film when confronted by officers. Maria has now been arrested twice for holding the flag. See more on this unfolding story

ON STRIKE AGAINST GENOCIDE: Wednesday 29 April 2009

Make your stand, take a day off work, nursery, school, college, university, and gather in Westminster.

Wednesday 29th April from early… all day

“On Strike Against Genocide”
Westminster,  London SW1

To support the Tamil community in Britain whose relatives are under seige in Sri Lanka. So many of the people who have been protesting in Parliament Square over the last 4 weeks have relatives and friends among the many thousands of civilians who have been killed.

Doctors have warned that the Tamil student, Prarameswaren Subramaniam, who has been on hunger strike in Parliament Square for 21 days in protest at the Sri Lankan governments military assualt, may have only a week to live.

Enough is enough…….

Afganistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza, Sri Lanka……when will the voice of the people be heard! We are opposed to the senseless, endless killing that Governments around the World seem to promote. We have no arguments with civilians we have never met, from any nation. We are tired of all these labels that are associated with the latest “enemy”.

The political world needs an “enemy” and seems to promote war. Centuries of conflict show that it is the ordinary person that becomes the victim of war, regardless of which side they are on. We also makes the biggest sacrifice with life and limb. We allow ourselves to become “killing machines” supplying armies with soldiers that kill people because they are “ordered to”. We lose our humanity and often our sanity.

The business of war is madness. The Arms Trade is the trade of evil. Let’s not be part of the whole nasty business. We want our Government to administer with responsibility and care. We want a Government to plan for the greater good, all equal and free.

Let us all support the – “Strike Against Genocide”.

No matter to whom, “Genocide is Genocide”.

We have never been given a vote to go to war as they know good people would say “NO!”

Let’s vote with our feet and say “NO TO GENOCIDE” loud and clear to our Government.

Walk around and see the sights…Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Bridge, Whitehall, Downing Street, Trafalgar Square.

Dress ordinary. This is not a march or protest. We are individuals “On Strike” and are free people to visit where we like.

Be prepared for long day and bring food and drink and warm clothes for later during the day.

Check weather forecast for rain, you may need umbrella or waterproofs!

The message of our strike is to say “Listen To The People”.

Genocide is an emergency and the Governments, United Nations and International Community fail in their duty of care, to act in time to save life.

Take this opportunity to make a stand and redress the issue. The time is right, the time is NOW!

Sri Lanka genocide….Gaza genocide ……war with Iran?………


Tamil Blockade at Parliament

As Parliament was sitting again after having been absent from Westminster for Easter holidays, Tamil people and their supporters in London stepped up their protests on Monday 20th against the military onslaught in the Tamil areas of northern Sri Lanka. Thousands of people blocked Parliament Square for the whole day, whilst large numbers of police and riot TSG forces in standby-by kept a close eye. Read more

Peace Strike continues to support the Tamil protests as GLA restricts protest

SOCPA, the Tamils, and the grass
In a move reminiscent of the farcical GLA fences prior to Nelson Mandela’s visit, and at the time of the Burmese protests in summer 2007, the Tamil protest in Parliament Square is being marginalised by the GLA and police while thousands die in Sri Lanka. Read more from Indymedia…

Support the Tamil protests

The Peace Strike is supporting the Tamil protestors in Parliament Square – see press releases below.

For coverage of the demonstrations:

Please join the march tomorrow and show your support:
Saturday 11th April, a march to call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Sri Lanka.

For background to the Tamil situation:

Lets show our solidarity

Friday 10 April 2009


3.30pm, FRIDAY 10 APRIL 2009
A delegation of Tamils will deliver a petition to 10 Downing Street with the Liberal Democrat MP Simon Hughes in an attempt to get the UK government to intervene in the crisis in Sri Lanka.

Yesterday, a British women who escorted a delegation of Tamil women to Downing Street was arrested under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 which prohibits demonstrations without police authorisation.

Maria Gallastegui was arrested about 7pm last night after she would not leave Downing Street until the delegation had seen a representative of the Government. She was told that no-one was available to see them as there are all on holiday. Ms Gallastegui was held by police overnight and released, without charge, at 12 noon today. She said:

“We went to Downing Street because the situation is an emergency. There are two young men on hunger strike in Parliament Square who are in a critical condition.

“All these people have been outside Parliament for days yet the British Government are on holiday and can not be contacted. There is an emergency below decks that needs to be dealt with but it appears that no-one is even steering the ship.

“We went to our neighbours, the government, to appeal for help for the hundreds of thousands of people in Sri Lanka who are in grave risk, but they are all on holiday. There is clearly no political will to address this issue.”

There will be a major demonstration on Saturday 11th April calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Sri Lanka. http://www.gumtree.com/london/09/37280409.html

For background to the Tamil situation: