The Wembley Tent City Eviction

It was around 6.30am on Friday 18 July when the first council bailiffs and park wardens arrived at the Wembley Sport Ground on Bridge Road. Already D-locked to the sports hall rooftop flagpole was Brent NUT and ATL Secretary, and, according to Brent Council, the ringleader – the “troop organiser” – of the Wembley Tent City Anti-Academy Occupation.

No Academy Flag Flying Under the Shadow of Wembley Stadium
Supporters gathered in the car park to support Roberts, but all were slowly removed by bailiffs and police, several forcefully.

Police move in on children supporters

Then the police began evicting the press. Council bailiffs said it was private property and I would be arrested if I stayed. I checked this with the Evening Standard photographer, who claimed they could not remove the press. A later phone call confirmed the land was not private, as it was owned by Brent Council. Therefore, the public paid for it. It was public land.

That did not stop one officer escorting me by the arm, to move me back on to the highway, giving that extra directional assistance, just for good measure, as he made sure I made it safely through the gateway. The Evening Standard photographer was removed soon after, but the camera crew on the roof were allowed to remain.

Using cutting equipment, and under the watchful eye of the local Fire Brigade, Roberts was cut out of the bicycle D-lock and brought down to earth in a cherry picker.

Despite all the threats over the last four days, Roberts, nor anyone else, was arrested that morning. Roberts now waits to see what extra costs on top of the £3,750 County Court costs he received earlier in the week.

But Roberts remained defiant: “We have to make a standin this country for what is right,” he said. “Taking sports grounds when we need them is completely and utterly wrong. Building privately managed schools, Academys, which we have to pay for as the taxpayer, is also wrong.

“What we’ve got to do is take the fight to the council, but also to Ark.

“These people are intending to ponce off our taxpayer’s money to get their own way in education at almost no cost. So. we have to defeat that. I’m sure all of you here will be joining together with myself and others in the borough and in the country to defeat this sort of thing.”

All material on this blog – stills, video and print – is (c) Jason N. Parkinson 2008 All Rights Reserved.

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