Royal wedding homeless protesters are ‘bunch of anarchists’, says rough sleeper
A long-time rough sleeper has dismissed protesters planning to line the royal wedding route in sleeping bags as “anarchists” intent on causing trouble.
William “Bill” Watson, who has lived in the borough for four months, said planned homeless solidarity events were an excuse for people to “cause a riot”.
The 50-year-old, originally from Harlington, west London, told the Press Association: “That type of person isn’t for me.
“If I was here and it kicked off then I would be on the side of the Old Bill. They’re coming to the event for the wrong reasons, to cause a riot. They’re a bunch of anarchists.
“They’re coming for one reason – to give the Old Bill the hump.”
Mr Watson said Windsor was “about the best place I have been” since becoming homeless as a teenager in 1984 following the death of his grandfather.
Protesters say they plan to camp out with rough sleepers in solidarity as part of the #RoyalSleepOver event, with hundreds indicating they will attend similar events on Facebook.
It comes in response to now-scrapped plans to clear them from Windsor’s streets, with fines of up to £100 for “aggressive begging”.
The row broke out in January after council leader Simon Dudley (pictured) said the homeless would paint Windsor in a “sadly unfavourable light” when the world’s eyes were fixed upon the town.
But Mr Watson says he will be leaving voluntarily, adding he had tried to pitch for odd-jobs unsuccessfully.
He went on: “I’ll probably leave when they start taking the bins away. I’ll stay near a church or a graveyard somewhere for the duration of the wedding.
“Police have been coming around speaking to us, getting to know who the people of Windsor are.
“I said ‘sort me out with a sponge and some hot water in a car park or give the homeless a cart with rubbish bags’.
“That way we could make a couple of quid working. But you just get the usual response.”
Having been homeless for 34 years, Mr Watson added: “Windsor is about the best place I have been, such a nice area with rural places to sleep.
“For the first time in a long time I feel you can chill out and mind your own business.”
Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Steve Parsons / PA Wire.