Last night, a lone Occupy London protester in Parliament Square defied police trying to evict the group, by mounting the square's statue of Winston Churchill. The man refused to come down and stoically managed to remain in place all night despite the bitter weather. He was wearing a high-vis jacket and had a police officer's hat on.
This latest episode follows five days of clashes between police and the protesters, who are campaigning for a range of issues including a fairer economy and less hierarchy in society. Yesterday, Baroness Jenny Jones, the deputy chair of the London Assembly's police and crime committee was arrested after she took tea out to the protestors.
Police have said they tried to evict the Occupy movement late last night because they were in breach of a 2011 law that forbids having sleeping equipment in Parliament Square. After the man climbed up on the plinth the police erected safety barriers around the statue and took shifts keeping up a nocturnal vigil.
This is not the first time Churchill's statue has been used as the focus for protest — in 2000, for example, the old Prime Minister's statue was memorably restyled with a green mohican by an ex-soldier during the May Day anarchist demonstrations.