St Paul's protesters stay put

 

Not one person has left the protest camp outside St Paul's Cathedral
since a legal eviction notice was served giving them 24 hours to quit,
activists said.

The City of London Corporation yesterday told the protesters to move tents and equipment from the public highway by 6pm today or face High Court action.

Instead of packing up, protesters were this afternoon discussing putting up Christmas decorations as they prepare for a lengthy legal battle.

A spokesman for the camp said he was not aware of anyone leaving the site outside the cathedral, where anti-capitalist protesters have been pitched since October 15, and no efforts had been made to move tents.

"I've even heard people talking about when to put up Christmas decorations," he said.

"We have a legal team in place. We would ask that the City of London Corporation step up and enter into dialogue with us.

"These tactics are deflecting from the real issues."

John Cooper QC, who is representing the protest camp pro bono, will meet protesters outside St Paul's Cathedral later today.

Then, at 6pm, protesters will mark the passing of the corporation's deadline by raising hands in silence for one minute, Mr McNern said: "This will signify that we are still here, we have a just cause, and the City of London Corporation, the banks, the Government, need to engage with us."

Nathan Cravens, 27, who runs the camp library, said: "The general feeling is excitement at the moment. It's brought us together."

He said there is "concern" among protesters at the camp, but the overall emotion was "positive": "For me, I'll leave the day they say they're going to evict."

Speaking about the break-up of the Occupy camp in New York, Mr Cravens said: "The concern is that it will set a precedent."

Samuel Carlisle, 23, added: "The spirit of people who are occupying won't be broken. If they are physically prevented from going back to the site, even if numbers increase and things get very violent, I suspect they can occupy another site very near by and continue with business as usual.

"It's not about holding ground, it should never be about holding a territory, it's about occupying. It's the idea that's taken root."

The City of London Corporation, the local authority which runs the Square Mile, has expressed concern over "worrying trends" at the camp, including late-night drinking, and said companies near the Cathedral had complained about losing business.

Some of the tents are pitched on the footpath next to the shops surrounding the Cathedral, with the remainder in the gounds of St Paul's itself.

A spokeswoman for the Cathedral - which has ditched its own proposed legal action - said it was looking for a "peaceful resolution" but admitted it had faced "challenges" since the camp was pitched a month ago.

The City of London Corporation's notices, which were attached to tents yesterday afternoon, said: "If any tents and other structures remain after 6pm on Thursday 17 November 2011, proceedings for possession and injunctions will be issued in the High Court of Justice without further notice.

"If granted, this would mean that you would be ordered by the High Court to remove the tents and any failure to do so could be a contempt of court."

The Corporation decided to resume legal action after two weeks of talks with protesters.

Stuart Fraser, policy chairman of the Corporation, said legal action was "paused" for two weeks for talks which "got nowhere".

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links