Video by Maciek Kaliski and Henry Young
"We shall defend our daughters, our wives, our sons, whatever the cost may be. We shall defend them on the streets, we shall defend them on our ranks, we shall defend them on the Internet and through social media. We shall never, never surrender!"
Dads Defending Daughters, supported by contingents from the MayfairMob, SaveTaxi Facebook group and the RMT, held a peaceful demonstration in Parliament Square.
Every participant holding aloft an explanatory placard or banner, getting across the statistics, which are being suppress and held back from the general public.
Sean Paul Day gave a rousing speech to onlookers from the middle of the Square, in which he called for a public inquiry into the scandalous coverup of the assault and rape statistics.
From Feb 2016 to Feb 2016 there were 154 Minicab related serious sexual assaults, including Rape.
32 Uber of these attacks were alleged by the Met Police to have been carried out by Uber drivers.
These tatistics have been confirmed by freedom of information request made directly to the Metropolitan Police.
TfL were in shock when first the LTDA AdVan was seen outside clubs and bars showing these figures. Pressure was put to soften the message, and the LTDA as normal, duly obliged.
Although plans for this day were kept off social media, the message went out through word of mouth, hundreds turned up on foot and lined three sides of the square.
I was surprised to find how much interest there was from people in the square, inquiring into the nature of the placards, advertising the shocking statistics.
TfL sent compliance to observe.
Again, trying to hide away over the other side of the square were four TfL Compliance officers who had removed their yellow HiVis jackets to blend in with the public. They were seen taking photographs of demonstrators.
I crossed the road and proceeded to take their photo, but they rushed off in the direction of Windsor house.
Question to TfLTPH:
I hope your compliance team had an authorisation of surveillance under the Regulation of Investigatory Act 2000, otherwise they were breaking the law by photographing demonstrators.
Because of the referendum, the world's press were in and around the Square and many interviews with foreign journalists took place. Then after two hours, the drivers, friends and family members, marched peacefully to Sajid Javid's office, passing the world's media encampment on College Green.
On arrival at Javid's office, a statement was read to the crowd over loud speaker by Marc Turner. After a rousing round of applause, the demonstration dispersed. Arriving back at the 'iron lung', it was found a number of Taxis had been given parking tickets. A quick collection took place amongst the drivers to pay the fines.
The demo itself was amazing. Although the message being put across to the public was very serious, drivers managed to stay calm, collected and peaceful.
Officers from the Met Police Liaison Unit, praised the drivers for their excellent behaviour. Drivers were also surprise to find support from the celebrity of the day who just happened to pull over to show support to DDDs
We could have filled the Square with Taxis, beeping their horns and waving fists, traffic could have been disrupted for a couple of hours , but would the public have understood the message?
The banners were an excellent idea and it is a suggestion that all future demos be accompanied by placards and banners to let everyone know exactly why we are taking to the streets.