Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Evicted protesters remain defiant

Members of the Occupy camp face down attempts to evict them from in front of St Paul's Cathedral
Members of the Occupy camp face down attempts to evict them from in front of St Paul's Cathedral
Tents and debris are removed from the Occupy camp at St Pauls Cathedral
Police made 20 arrests as they cleared the site outside of St Paul's Cathedral in London

Anti-capitalist protesters have warned that they will not be "derailed" after their camp was cleared from outside St Paul's Cathedral.

Occupy London pledged that it was "only the beginning" following the removal of the last protesters in the early hours after four and a half months camped outside the landmark cathedral.

The group said plans were "already afoot" of "some ambition" in response to the eviction.

"All will be revealed in time. May is one of our favourite months," they wrote on the Occupy London website. "The relationships forged during these strange and beautiful four and a half months still have much further to run," they added. "This is only the beginning."

City of London police, who were supported by the Met, said 23 arrests were made during the "largely peaceful" eviction as bailiffs from City of London Corporation removed tents and equipment from outside St Paul's. The action was taken five days after Occupy London was refused permission by the Court of Appeal to challenge orders evicting protesters.

Stuart Fraser, policy chairman of the City of London Corporation, said: "It is regrettable that it had to come to the need for removal but the High Court judgment speaks for itself. The site has now been cleared and the area is undergoing a deep clean."

Granting orders for possession and injunctions against Occupy London at the High Court last month, Mr Justice Lindblom said the proposed action by the City of London Corporation - which it pledged not to enforce pending appeal - was "entirely lawful and justified", as well as necessary and proportionate.

The appeal judges, headed by Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger, said the protesters had raised no arguable case.

Meanwhile, a group of protesters remained defiant, waving flags and banging tambourines on top of a makeshift wooden structure facing the cathedral. The platform was eventually dismantled by bailiffs after police in riot gear surrounded it. Campaigners were also cleared from the steps of the cathedral.

An Occupy London spokesman said its School of Ideas in a disused school building in Islington, north London, had also been evicted.

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