Thursday, 21 June 2007


Westcountry fathers' rights campaigner Jolly Stanesby has promised to use "the element of surprise" in future protests after nine people were arrested at the Trooping of the Colour ceremony in London on Saturday.

The arrests were made after a newspaper report that the group planned to mount a "spectacular event", but a Fathers 4 Justice spokesman said the Buckingham Palace incident was not the event talked about.

Mr Stanesby, who was one of those arrested, said that Buckingham Palace was "not an ideal venue for a protest".

The Metropolitan Police said that the arrests were made to prevent a breach of the peace as part of a large proactive policing operation.

Nine activists were arrested before they could scale barriers and handcuff themselves to the Queen's carriage.

The seven men and two women were later released without charge.

Fathers 4 Justice said that the arrests, just minutes before the Queen left Buckingham Palace for the Trooping of the Colour ceremony at the Horse Guards Parade, did not affect its plans for a resumption of direct action.

It follows a demonstration at last year's event where a protester got within 20 feet of the carriage.

The controversial pressure group said that it had warned last week of a resumption of activities but that this was not the "spectacular" mentioned in last week's Independent on Sunday newspaper.

Mr Stanesby, from Ivybridge, South Devon, said: "We hadn't considered the Trooping of the Colour until Scotland Yard asked us if we'd be

"It sounded like an invitation and an opportunity to try out a few ideas.

"It's not an ideal venue for a protest, as it's a full 'belt and braces' job for them - we'd much rather catch them with the element of surprise, which has always been our trademark."