Occupy St Paul's protesters lose eviction battle


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Demonstrators camped outside St Paul's Cathedral were last night discussing whether or not to resist eviction after a High Court judge ruled that their "Tent City" protest could be cleared as early as next week.

The protesters were dismayed by the judge's ruling. Some of those in court indicated they would disobey the order, while others said it was a decision "each individual has to take".

A spokesman for the movement insisted in the weeks before the ruling that there would be "no Dale Farm-style resistance" to an eviction, but a meeting was being held last night to discuss the movement's response.

Luke Wilkins, a 33-year-old Occupy protester from Reading, said: "I will base my decision on whether I think we have had a fair hearing. It is a decision I will make in peace and quiet when the time comes. It is entirely up to the individual, it is their choice alone."

Outside the court, protester Tammy Samede, who appeared on behalf of the movement, said she would continue to peacefully protest, adding: "This is not the end, onwards and upwards."

John Cooper QC, who represented the protesters, said: "This is an important judgment. It marks the start of a legal analysis as to the extent of protest in this country. What Occupy has done is push the boundaries of public law on protest."

Mr Justice Lindblom granted orders for possession and injunctions against Occupy London – which has attracted support from civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, Dame Vivienne Westwood and Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke.

He said the proposed eviction was "entirely lawful and justified" as well as necessary and proportionate. He ruled that anyone who attempted to reinstate the occupation or move it around the corner faced a fine or jail.