A member of the London Assembly representing the left-liberal Green Party was arrested for blocking traffic during street protests against Boris Johnson’s decision to prorogue (temporarily suspend) Parliament ahead of the Brexit deadline.
Caroline Russell was filmed performing a conga and a “ring-a-ring o’ roses” type dance with other middle-aged women while singing “here we go round the roundabout” and later chanting “you shut down the Parliament, we shut down the streets” as part of wider protests — composed largely if not exclusively of Remainers — against the Prime Minister’s decision to suspend Parliament for a short while ahead of the Brexit deadline.
Prime Minister Johnson says he is doing so in order to bring the current parliamentary session — the longest-running since the United Kingdom’s founding in 1707 — to an end, and bring forward a new legislative programme in a Queen’s Speech — but anti-Brexiteers believe he is doing so in order limit the largely Remain-voting legislature’s time to delay or otherwise thwart Britain’s scheduled exit from the European Union on October 31st, which they believe is a “coup”.
A mob marching on the palace under the flag of a foreign power to attempt to remove the Prime Minister and cancel the largest vote in our history.
Remind me again which side is supposed to be the coup? https://t.co/g2s2yW48gA
— Tom Harwood (@tomhfh) August 31, 2019
In the video, Ms Russell is approached by Metropolitan Police officers who inform her she is committing a public order offence, to which her only response is to repeat “you shut down the Parliament, we shut down the streets” several times, eventually leading to her arrest.
In fact, police officers play no role in the prorogation of Parliament, which is done at the behest of the monarch on the advice of her ministers — although her involvement is largely ceremonial, as when she signs parliamentary bills into law by granting them the Royal Assent.
Prorogation is in practice carried out on the Prime Minister’s initiative, via the Privy Council.
The Green politician was backed by party co-leader Siân Berry, who indicated that, by blocking bridges and roads and disrupting travel in an attempt to prevent the British people’s vote to Leave the European Union from being delivered, she and her fellow protesters were “defending our democracy”.
None of today's angry protests speak for the 17.4 million who voted to get us OUT of the EU – as Channel 4 News found out the hard way 😂 pic.twitter.com/W5JflvVDwP
— Change Britain (@Change_Britain) August 31, 2019