Protesters continue Battersea Park occupation for sixth day
Protesters continue their occupation of Battersea adventure playground for a sixth day despite the onset of cold weather.
Occupy London and members of Wandsworth Against Cuts (WAC) have been camping in the playground since Saturday in a bid to save it from demolition.
According to people on the site this morning police have removed padlocks and forced entry into the playground.
The Occupy London Twitter account described the stand off as "peaceful".
On Tuesday Wandsworth Council threatened the group with legal action, while one 'o'clock clubs for children have been cancelled and a neighbouring smaller park was locked up.
The campaign has provoked a mixed response, with the Friends of Battersea Park condemning the group but London Play lending their support.
Katherine Stanley, of Southfields who is part of the Occupy movement, said: "I guess yes it is cold, yes it is uncomfortable, but there is something more important and it is survivable. We have done it before."
Yesterday Francis Radcliffe, chairman of the Friends of Battersea Park, said: "The Friends of Battersea Park do not support the occupation of the adventure playground which has led to the closure of the one o'clock club and the children's playground."
Charity London Play, which campaigns for play services in the capital, said: "London Play is contributing to the campaign to save Battersea Park Adventure Playground, which Wandsworth Council is proposing to remove and replace with boring, static play equipment which does away with both any play value and the need for staff.
"We cannot afford to watch this essential children's service and the dedicated staff that bring it alive vanish from Battersea Park. Once it's gone, it's gone."
Alex Sykes, community manager of MadeforMums Wandsworth does not want to see the playground go, but said parents need services back to normal.
She said: "At the moment local parents are suffering because of what has now become a purely political debate - we won't get the adventure playground back in it's current form and now we've lost the other facilities too."
It is thought the bulldozers will be moving in on Monday to begin the £200,000 rebuild of the playground.
Councillor Kathy Tracey, cabinet member for children's services, said: "These are well organised protesters with their own agenda.
"We hope that once they have made their point, they will allow us to get on with the work required to reopen the playground."
A spokesperson for the police said: "This morning officers were patrolling the adventure playground area of the park. They removed a lock placed by protesters on the gate there.
"We continue to liaise with the council to bring it to a successful resolution."
Both campaign groups are planning an event at the park on Saturday at 2pm.
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