A plan by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights to picket a meeting of the Royal College of Psychiatry, who were holding a meeting on campus, failed to materialise this week. CCHR, a branch of the Church of Scientology, apparently cancelled at the last minute following threats of a counter-protest. The group Anonymous, well-known for their anti-Scientology protests around the world, had arranged the counter-protest in an attempt to educate passers-by as to the origins of the organisation. In the end very few turned up after the CCHR cancelled their main protest.
However, despite no picket appearing, the CCHR did show up in one form: a van carrying anti-psychiatry messages was seen roaming South Kensington during the day on Wednesday, and spent part of Thursday parked in a space directly outside the Tanaka building. There was no sign of Anonymous late on Thursday afternoon, but a fair amount of interest in the van from those leaving and entering the campus. The van eventually departed when its parking ticket expired just before 4pm. An expected 'Scientology vs Anonymous' clash outside the College main entrance did not materialise and College security staff quickly vanished when the van had gone.
The Church of Scientology is well known for having wined-and-dined the City of London Police, to the extent that they seem to threaten legal action against opponents of the church with questionable legal basis. The CCHR, incorporated in the United States as one of Scientology's activities, protests against psychiatrists on the basis that they violate people's human rights. Anti-psychiatrist sentiment is one of the founding beliefs of Scientology.