St Paul's protest: Occupy London camp evicted

 
A bailiff is pulled from a makeshift barricade at the Occupy protest camp Some protesters erected a makeshift barricade, but most moved on peacefully

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Police and bailiffs have evicted anti-capitalist protesters and removed tents from the Occupy London camp at St Paul's Cathedral.

The operation, which began just after midnight, was mostly peaceful but there were 20 arrests.

A St Paul's spokesman said: "We regret the camp had to be removed by bailiffs."

The City of London Corporation said it "regretted" that it had become necessary to evict the protesters.

Occupy London, which campaigns against corporate greed, set up the camp on 15 October.

The campaigners were refused permission to appeal against a High Court decision to allow their eviction to proceed.

Police have moved in to remove protesters from their camp outside St Paul's Cathedral

The Rev Giles Fraser, who resigned as canon chancellor of St Paul's in support of the protesters, said: "This is a sad day for the Church.

"Riot police clearing the steps of St Paul's Cathedral was a terrible sight."

The St Paul's spokesman said: "In the past few months, we have all been made to re-examine important issues about social and economic justice and the role the cathedral can play.

"We are fully committed to continuing to promote these issues through our worship, teaching and Institute."

Protesters in the square outside the cathedral stressed their action was far from over, but most did not resist police and bailiffs as they removed tents and other equipment from the site.

A handful defied police by erecting a temporary structure from wooden pallets in the square outside St Paul's but the platform was eventually dismantled.

The High Court decided last week that the City of London Corporation's move to evict the camp was "lawful and justified".

The corporation was granted orders of possession and injunctions by the court.

The Court of Appeal's decision not to allow an appeal meant the corporation was free to clear the site.

ANALYSIS

Before midnight rumours were spreading around the Occupy camp suggesting that the site that has been their home for months was about to be cleared.

But there was little the activists could do when dozens of police and bailiffs arrived at St Paul's with a court order to remove the tents which have become part of the landscape here.

As some of the protesters shouted defiance from the cathedral steps the bailiffs went about their business. The tents which made up the Occupy site were unceremoniously dragged into the back of waiting rubbish lorries.

By this time some of the Occupy campaigners had used pallets and wooden shelving to create a barricade which they climbed on - determined to resist attempts to remove them.

There were shouts and scuffles - but little in the way of violence.

Eventually - after a couple of hours the site was finally cleared.

George Barda, one of the five protesters who appealed against the High Court's decision, told the BBC he had "mixed emotions".

But the 36-year-old said: "It's not the beginning of the end, it's the end of the beginning."

He said the eviction did not spell the end of the protest.

"The corporation made it very clear that they have nothing supposedly against protest, assembly, free speech in this area, just the tents and the bedding that have now been removed," he added.

Following the eviction, Occupy London protesters moved to Salvation Army offices by Millennium Bridge, but City of London Police officers moved them on.

Some of the protesters moved to a disused building in Featherstone Street, Islington, which Occupy protesters had called the School of Ideas.

However, the protesters were evicted and the building was being bulldozed on Tuesday.

Dozens more protesters moved to Finsbury Square, Islington, where a separate Occupy camp has been set up for a number of months.

Fences were put up around St Paul's as a City of London cleaning team began a deep clean of the area.

'Maintain order'

The City of London Corporation said in a statement: "The City of London Corporation has begun to enforce the High Court orders for the removal of the tents and equipment outside St Paul's.

"We regret that it has come to this but the High Court Judgment speaks for itself and the Court of Appeal has confirmed that judgment.

Occupy protester George Barda believes the group will continue to grow

"High Court enforcement officers employed by the City of London Corporation are undertaking the removal with the police present to ensure public safety and maintain order.

"We would ask protesters to move on peaceably.

"The City of London Corporation is ensuring vulnerable people are being helped and supported to find appropriate accommodation in partnership with Broadway, a charity for the homeless."

A statement from City of London Police said: "At 12.10 tonight, bailiffs employed by the City of London Corporation began enforcing a High Court order for the removal of tents and equipment outside St Paul's Cathedral.

"Officers from the City of London Police supported by Metropolitan Police are present to ensure public safety, maintain order and facilitate lawful protest."

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "I'm glad that finally the law has taken its course.

"My interest is in the economic interest of the city and I want to make sure the businesses in that area can flourish."

 

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  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 579.

    @567 Blythespirits

    True, but it brought some of the greed and cronyism into focus.


    Journalists especially, in the wake of Occupy, have been pretty effective at uncovering scandals.

    It's time to call the fat-cats to account - after all, "we're all in this together"

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 578.

    This is the conversation I heard at St Pauls:
    "We're not going nowhere till they sort it out"
    "Who?", "Them", "Sort what out?" "Everything", "Like what for example?" "Evryfing, its all messed up and we aint goin nowhere till they sort it, right"
    I walked away an enlightened man after that deep discourse.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 577.

    560. Rebecca Riot

    In the middle of the night while no tourists were around or foreign TV?

    -

    Or fair-weather activists such as Rebecca Riot....

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 576.

    560.Rebecca Riot
    6 Minutes ago
    In the middle of the night while no tourists were around or foreign TV?


    When the campers are tired, high, stoned etc. is the best time to assure their compliance, it's that simple Rebecca.

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 575.

    over the last few years the City has shown infinitely more capacity to damage itself (and the rest of us)

    Yes indeed they managed to damage our society more than Al Quaeda could ever hope as they came close to bringing it all crashing down around us without a shot being fired. But it was "good" damage 'cos it was done by our side..? Friendly fire maybe

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 574.

    If you agree with the so called occupy....

    Good news! You have been able to vote for them for years;

    The Socialist Workers Party is for you. Check it out, they are one and the same.

    Look how well they do in elections..... ;-)

    Socialists are not hypocrites who advocate theft... sorry wealth redistribution!

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 573.

    To see the slime creeping out of Barclays this morning (sorry, 'aggressive tax avoidance' tactics) and to hear that unhearing idiot Brian Coleman on Radio 2 just now.. (“If people want to change things in this country, they must do so at the ballot box. This was just gesture politics.” - yeah right Brian, see you in a couple of years), looks like 'Occupy' they had a point

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 572.

    560.Rebecca Riot - "...Where was the Dean while all this was going on? Not a sign of the clergy, while the thugs and plods waded in!"


    'Thugs and plods'?

    Do you by any chance mean the Bailiffs and the Police?

    It's a shame you can't see that this sort of language can actually harm your cause

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 571.

    543.Alpha Leader
    (Thankfully for all of us (including the protesters themselves) they did not cause any disruption to the City).
    -
    It was more than time to bring it to an end, but what's all this about the City? From its behaviour over the last few years the City has shown infinitely more capacity to damage itself (and the rest of us) than a bunch of over-enthusiastic young protesters.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 570.

    @Robbie.
    So only married Christians get tax breaks.

    Once again...... if people want to give reasonable arguments, please do. BUT do not slip in the odd, propraganda, unfounded comments. A comment with 99 truths is destroyed by the 1 lie told to back them up.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 569.

    There should be a new national anthem: God save our once beatiful nation, not the queen.

  • rate this
    -5

    Comment number 568.

    I am glad they moved these whiners on,may be they could try getting a job instead of being a dead weight on society.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 567.

    There seemed to me to be very little achieved in reality by pitching tents outside of St Pauls other than stimulating discussion about the tawdry activities of our greedy "Haves"- which is a good thing- and kudos to them in the main. No laws changed. The best way to change the law is in the public arena of media by exposure of the greed, public petitions and people with skillful language.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 566.

    About time too. I would not have minded so much if they hadn't all been so ugly and smelly. Why can't protesters look like Schiffer / Clooney; then they might engender some more sympathy for their cause. (What were they protesting about anyway? Lack of affordable soap or some such thing?)

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 565.

    @450
    ''Why does a train driver get paid more than a teacher?''

    Because he has a much better Trade Union and General Secretary.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 564.

    Mildred: Wikipedia. Yes, I'm suggesting this is not what the St Paul's protesters are after. I don't believe they're anarchists. I think they see that capitalism has evolved into a monster. Capitalism was intended to foster endeavour, innovation, and societal progress, not simply provide a route for a very few insiders to become massively wealthy. Capitalism isn't 'wrong' it's just been perverted.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 563.

    556 I agree. If they were running things shaving would be prohibited and we would probably all be forced to smoke the 'wacky baccy'.

    558 I agree. No respect for the public space, no benefits.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 562.

    523. nagivatorjan* 501 Maxone

    *''Those added to the House of Lords (not the hereditary peers) have proved more corrupt than the unelected ones. The hereditaries are supposedly unable to be bought -and apolitical.'

    Follow the money & business links. Politics is concentrated economics! The main issue is that the House of Lords is a anachronistic feudal State institution in a sham UK 'democracy'!

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 561.

    I went to see the camp while in London. A peaceful protest which hurt no-one really. The small local shops seemed quite busy with the tourists. I went to see the camp as I really think that we need to support the mindset that maybe this regime - ie capitalism, has now descended into the corruption that all regimes eventually do with excesses of power. Maybe the start of the end?

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 560.

    In the middle of the night while no tourists were around or foreign TV?

    St Paul's spokeman said 'We regret the camp had to be removed by bailiffs.'

    Canon Fraser said. 'This is a sad day for the Church. Riot Police clearing the steps of St Paul's Cathedral was a terrible sight."

    Where was the Dean while all this was going on? Not a sign of the clergy, while the thugs and plods waded in!

 

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