Peace activist loses parliament tent fight

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VETERAN peace campaigner Maria Gallastegui has lost her battle in the Court of Appeal for the right to pitch a tent opposite the Houses of Parliament.

Three judges ruled yesterday that new powers allowing the police, Westminster City Council and the Greater London Authority (GLA) to stop members of the public using equipment to camp or sleep in Parliament Square and its footways are not incompatible with human rights laws. Lord Dyson (Master of the Rolls), Lord Justice Patten and Lord Justice Tomlinson said: “The freedom to protest generally is not impaired at all.”

Gallastegui, owner of the last anti-war protest tent in the square, has carried out a six-year vigil opposite Parliament. Her lawyers argued the new powers were incompatible with various sections of the European Convention on Human Rights.