police command post

There was a strong police presence, not only to keep the peace and control traffic, but to also make sure that the demonstration did not march on the Houses of Parliament which was a short walk, and an even shorter dash, across Westminster Bridge from this spot. There is a law that says when Parliament is in session (and it was), demonstrators are not allowed to march within a given distance of The House, incase they take it upon themselves to storm the building and sack the government. You may not think that students could overthrow a government, but student protests in Paris during May ’68 initiated a process that overthrew de Gaulle’s government! Even if Thatcher’s government was not sacked, if the tens of thousands of students who came from all over the UK could manage to run to the gates of government while it was in session, this would be a significant coup that would send the strongest message to state. The senior police officers shown here were very aware of that and they knew that if this were to happen, Thatcher and worse still the Home Secretary, would not be amused! The order was given to seal all the bridges in the vicinity of Parliament.

To be continued…

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