An antiques trader has been banned by an exclusion order from areas of the Portobello road, for ‘persistent leafleting and agitation of market traders’. The pensioner, Marion Gettleson, takes a strong stand against planned changes to the market – basically, Kensington and Chelsea council and landlords’ policy to favour big brands over the ‘messy’ traders.
One landlord obtained an exclusion order against Marion Gettleson, preventing her from visiting his arcades – showing the legal means available today for clamping down on leafleting and other activities in public space. Our Campaign Against Leafleting Bans focuses on no-leafleting zones, but we are discovering more and more ways in which people can be prevented from assuming their democratic rights and handing out leaflets to fellow members of the public.
Yet the landlord hasn’t won – 100 traders donned images of Marion’s face and descended on the market in a mass protest. This shows the popularity of her cause; these traders seem not to mind being ‘harassed’.
We wholeheartedly support Marion’s cause, and will closely follow developments in the market.