An anti-austerity cuts protestor who has been camping outside Cardiff Castle has been given 24 hours to move.
Joshua Howe, 25, has been charged with trespassing by Cardiff Council. He started his protest on March 1 and has been sleeping outside the castle for 17 days.
Mr Howe set up three tents on the grass in front of the castle, carrying the messages “Burn the banks”, “Stop the war” and “Unity” in a symbolic protest against austerity. “I don’t think it [austerity] is necessary at all, it’s something they made up,” he said.
But on March 10th, police officers and officers from the council came to his tent and handed him a summons to Cardiff County Court for trespassing council land.
Mr Howe said: “It was quite funny because when they came there were a family having a picnic and a couple lying on the grass just over there. This is violation of my human rights because my protest has been peaceful.”
“The summon to court was directed to ‘anonymous’ and was full of mistakes so I won’t go. I’ll stay here until they physically move me. I maybe able to do another couple of weeks. I have definitely been questioning whether I am making a difference by doing this, but I know this is the right thing to do and so I keep going.”
A homeless couple who supports Mr Howe’s protest, joined him at his settlement just a couple of nights after he arrived and have since been sleeping there in a tent.
Mr Howe has been active on social media to promote his protest as well as ask people for things he needed such as a piece of tarp, a bowl or two, an elasticated bed sheet and some large pieces of cardboard to make banners.
In support of Mr Howe’s protest, the Anonymous group based in South Wales organised a soup kitchen yesterday (Monday) from 6pm in front of the castle. Hot soup and non-perishable food was served until late into the night along with boxes of toiletries and piles of clothes. All the remaining items were given to soup kitchen charities in Cardiff.
Michelle Saxby and Steven Deacon who both live in Cardiff came to support the Anonymous’s action. Mrs Saxby said: “When we heard they were organising a soup kitchen in Cardiff we thought we would come to help. I rang a few charities and collected boxes and boxes of toiletries they had too much of. We go toothbrushes, shower gel, shampoo and sanitary towels.”
Mr Deacon added: “Too many people just walk pass and pay no attention to these things, but they are really important not just for the homeless and those in need but for the whole community.”