Occupy London campers told to leave St. Paul’s Cathedral
A British court ruled on Wednesday that a protest camp denouncing economic inequality should be removed from its site outside London’s landmark St Paul’s cathedral. Dozens of activists from Occupy London, part of an international movement inspired by the Occupy Wall Street protest that began last September, have been camping outside St Paul’s since October. They are engaged in a legal battle with the City of London Corporation, which has policing powers in the area and wants to evict the campers.
At a packed High Court hearing, judge Keith Lindblom said the camp should be removed on grounds of safety and hygiene and to allow better access to the cathedral for worshippers. “(The corporation) gave the defendants ample opportunity to remove the protest camp without the need for time and money to be spent in legal proceedings,” said the judge.
Dozens of Occupy London members stood in the courtroom, some wearing hats adorned with symbols of peace and nuclear disarmament, and one shouted “Shame!” as the judge finished reading out his ruling. John Cooper, a lawyer representing Occupy London, said the campers would appeal against the decision. A lawyer for the corporation said it would allow the protesters seven days to lodge an appeal.