Wales

Six arrests as Occupy Cardiff protest broken up

Protest at Cardiff
Image caption A leaflet was handed out to shoppers calling for a new type of economy

Police say they made six arrests after an Occupy Cardiff protest was broken up.

South Wales Police said the arrests were for the offence of failing to adhere to a direction to leave land when ordered to do so.

Around 30 protesters had set up tents outside Cardiff Castle on Friday afternoon.

The protest was part of a global movement against banking and big business.

The group had earlier met in the city centre before crossing the road and pitching their tents outside the castle.

South Wales Police and Cardiff council had told them to move as they were breaking an 1875 by-law, leading to a stand-off.

Up to 100 people were involved at one stage but numbers dwindled later on, with the weather deteriorating.

Cardiff council had expressed fears about damage to the castle grounds.

Asked about criticism by protesters, deputy council leader Neil McEvoy said he agreed with the aims of the protest and offered an alternative site - his suggestion was outside the Senedd - but this was turned down by the protesters.

He told BBC Wales: "The protesters were offered a site we would support so why on earth wouldn't they go there, rally around and support the aims of the campaign?"

One protest organiser said they understood one person was still in custody early on Saturday. He said they now planned to meet "at a private location, to discuss the next steps".

Earlier, a leaflet was handed out to shoppers calling for a new type of economy.

It read: "This historic and unprecedented uprising and resistance to the inequality of our social system is nothing less than a lifeline for humanity.

"We must convert this dissent into a satisfying result.

"The monetary market system itself must be replaced with a resource-based economic model where everyone's needs are provided for free."

A meeting under the Aneurin Bevan statue in Queen Street had been organised before the group moved towards the castle nearby.

Banners

Representatives of the Welsh Language Society, Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, were also present with a large banner.

Policing was reported to be low key with around a dozen uniformed officers. A mobile command vehicle was parked in Castle Street.

As darkness fell and the rain got heavier, the number of protesters dropped to around 60 and then to 30.

Leaflets were being handed out to passers-by which read: "This historic and unprecedented uprising and resistance to the inequality of our social system is nothing less than a lifelife for humanity".

"We must convert this dissent into a satisfying result. The market system itself must be replaced with a resource-based economic model where everyone's needs are provided for free," it continued.

A call for an Occupy Cardiff protest had been made via social media in recent days.

Anti-capitalist protesters have been camping outside St Paul's Cathedral in London since 15 October.

Similar camps have been set up elsewhere in the UK as part of the Occupy movement, which has spread from New York since September.

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