Occupy protesters in London are braced for eviction following a court ruling that dictates local authorities can remove the 4-month-old campsite outside St. Paul’s Cathedral. The ruling came Wednesday, and ever since the Occupy London Twitter account (@OccupyLSX) has been posting periodic ominous updates.
“No sign yet,” @OccupyLSX tweeted in response today to a question about the eviction status.
While some protesters seemed determined to hold their ground – Occupy London tweeted that they would not be “bullied or afraid,” – the group’s lawyer, Karen Todner, ensured everyone that the activists are “seeking to discuss the best way to evacuate the camp in a peaceful and orderly fashion.”
Occupy spokeswoman Tammy Samede said that whatever happened, “Occupy is far from over” and that the group is “maturing, growing and learning.”
Occupy’s lawyer, John Cooper, said protesters would likely seek to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. He said that even if the camp is removed “the Occupy message has been heard and will continue to be heard.”
“This dysfunctional system needs to be called to account,” he said.
The Occupy London campsite currently contain about 120 tents, and protesters say they plan to preemptively remove two large tents which house the kitchen and “Tent City University” because they were donated to the group and could be destroyed during the eviction process. (photo via @Occupypics)
Conor Gearty, a London School of Economics human rights professor, who sat in front of the Tent City University Monday evening, addressed Occupy cynics.
“No one who has articulated what the future will be has ever been regarded as anything less than absurd in the present,” he said. (photo by @NAPturalyME)
The group has not been given a timetable for the eviction, a move the camp considers “reckless.”
“I stayed up all night in case they came,” said one protester, who only gave his name as Arthur.
He was referring to the bailiffs who are set to evict the multi-colored tent city that has been nestled for the last four months next to the iconic church where Lady Diana wed Prince Charles.
As for the future of Occupy London following the eviction, organizers say they still have big things in the works.
“There is the camp, and then there is the movement, which is still going strong,” said Ronan McNern, 36, a protester and spokesman for Occupy London.
McNern said some of their upcoming projects included a record to be released next month with tracks from Ani DiFranco and Billy Bragg; a 134-mile walk through London; and a school outreach program – more than 30 schools have approached Occupy London about doing workshops, he said.
I hope you found this article important. Before you leave, I want to ask you to consider supporting our work with a donation. In These Times needs readers like you to help sustain our mission. We don’t depend on—or want—corporate advertising or deep-pocketed billionaires to fund our journalism. We’re supported by you, the reader, so we can focus on covering the issues that matter most to the progressive movement without fear or compromise.
Our work isn’t hidden behind a paywall because of people like you who support our journalism. We want to keep it that way. If you value the work we do and the movements we cover, please consider donating to In These Times.