What about the Marathon and the Police?
The Big One aims to be as inclusive and accessible as possible.
London Marathon Info
The London Marathon takes place on Sunday 23rd and the MiniMarathon for young people will happen on Saturday 22nd. XRUK is working closely with the marathon organisers to ensure both events are successful.
Throughout the weekend, the area north of Parliament Sq will see large numbers of spectators. Runners will follow the route alongside The Houses of Parliament, the focal point for The Big One. The intention is to use this intersection point to warmly invite marathon spectators along to enjoy The Big One - a high number of stewards will be needed here to help people to find their way.
You can see the marathon route here.
Some roads will be closed to traffic from the early hours of the morning, and all roads are reopened at 8:30pm.
Traffic and crowd barriers along Great George Street - which runs from Westminster bridge, alongside the houses of Parliament and Parliament Square - will arrive on Friday night and remain until Monday.
Both running routes encircle St James’ Park and Green Park. These areas will be very busy with infrastructure, supporters and runners - making for an incredible opportunity for outreach for The Big One.
On Friday and Monday, infrastructure may still be around, however, use of the parks should be unaffected.
Additional London Underground trains will operate throughout the weekend - a benefit to those attending The Big One - though additional travel time may be needed, especially at peak times.
Westminster tube station will operate a one-way system and will be the busiest underground station. To access Westminster, other underground stations such as Pimlico or Victoria may be less busy.
Further travel information will be provided closer to the time.
XR has a working relationship with Metropolitan Police, developed over the past four years of nonviolent direct action. We proactively liaise to prioritise inclusivity, safety and respect for human rights. We have met and discussed arrangements for the Big One, in particular the need for road closures.
They have affirmed our right to peacefully protest outside government buildings in April and thanked us for our early engagement. We have confirmed our shared need: to ensure no significant harm comes to anyone.
The police have emphasised our right to peacefully assemble and guaranteed ample opportunities for dialogue during the course of the event. They have assured us there will be no surprises for attendees at The Big One.
For the reassurance of those present who may have had involvement with the police in protest situations before, bust cards will be available from stewards and at the Hubs, even though it is anticipated that they will not be required.
What we have communicated with the Metropolitan police:
- We have a fundamental right to assemble outside Parliament and government departments.
- We are working closely with the London Marathon to ensure that it can go ahead with us alongside, without disruption.
- There are no tactics planned to resist being moved, or to occupy roads overnight, or cause criminal damage as this would jeopardise the inclusive environment that makes pressure through numbers more effective.
- We pack down each day at 6pm and are cleared by 8pm (except a closing ceremony on Monday 24th, and nightly vigils) - the preparation centre will be open for events.
- A Special Access Vehicle Route will be provided from Parliament
- Mass presence will remain within South Westminster.
Despite all of our efforts to make this a safe and acceissble event, we know that some people, for various reasons, will want to have the reassurance of having a bust card in their pocket. You can print your own using this link or pick one up from a Steward on the day.
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