We are currently trialling our new-look independent.co.uk website - please send any feedback to beta@independent.co.uk

Home News

Timeline: Key events in the Occupy London protest


Here is a timeline of the Occupy London protest outside St Paul's Cathedral.


:: October 15: Anti-capitalist demonstrations which started in New York spread to European cities including London.

Protesters settle outside St Paul's Cathedral after they are prevented from occupying London Stock Exchange by a police cordon.

Well-known activists including Julian Assange and Peter Tatchell are among the protesters and Mr Assange, creator of the Wikileaks website, addresses the crowds on the cathedral steps.

Police urge protesters to leave, saying they are causing disruption and preventing access to the cathedral.

:: October 16: Church services take place as normal. The Rev Dr Giles Fraser, Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral, speaks to protesters and says that while he has not given his specific backing to the occupation he supports the democratic right to protest.

:: October 18: David Winnick, the Labour MP for Walsall North, calls for David Cameron and George Osborne to meet the protesters after he visits the camp and says he was "impressed by their desire to try to change things".

:: October 19: Cathedral officials say they are considering whether it can safely stay open in light of the growing size of the camp.

:: October 21: The Dean of St Paul's, the Rev Graeme Knowles, says the cathedral is closing its doors to the public with "heavy hearts" after receiving a report by health and safety officials. Small groups will be allowed to enter so weddings can go ahead. He asks activists to move on, saying it is the first time the cathedral has closed since the Second World War.

Campaigners insist they have complied with all the cathedral's requirements and have ensured the steps are clear.

:: October 22: The wedding of Natasha Ighodaro and Nick Cunningham goes ahead at the cathedral. The bride is unable to walk up its magnificent steps and arrives through a side entrance but later says the was no disruption to her "amazing" day.

:: October 26: The Bishop of London Richard Chartres, the third most senior cleric in the Church of England, says it is "time for the protesters to leave" although they have raised "a number of very important questions".

The City of London Corporation says it will consider legal action to oust the protesters and Mr Knowles says cathedral officials are considering all options, including legal action. He adds that he is hopeful the cathedral will reopen within days after campaigners rearrange tents.

St Paul's chorister Joel Newsome, 22, from Battersea, south London, joins a public ensemble for Evensong outside the cathedral and admits: "I think the church could have done a little bit more to stay open."

:: October 27: Dr Fraser resigns from his post. He tells the Guardian he quit as Canon Chancellor "because I believe that the chapter has set on a course of action that could mean there will be violence in the name of the church".

Protesters praise his decision and say he has inspired them to continue.

:: October 28: The cathedral reopens to the public as Prime Minister David Cameron urges the authorities to resolve the stand-off with protesters.

Soon afterwards, the City of London Corporation and the cathedral announce plans to take separate legal actions to clear the camp.

:: October 30: The Bishop of London backs legal action, telling a crowd on the cathedral steps that "nobody wants to see violence" but that legal measures would be "prudent".

:: October 31: Mr Knowles resigns, saying mounting criticism of the cathedral had made it "increasingly clear" his position as Dean was "untenable".

Fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood visits the campsite with her sons, Ben Westwood and Joseph Ferdinand Corre.

:: November 1: The Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral unanimously agrees to suspend its legal action. The City of London Corporation said it is suspending legal action so further discussion can take place and has not delivered warning letters to the camp as planned.

:: November 5: In an article for The Observer, Labour leader Ed Miliband warns protesters reflect a "crisis of concern" in mainstream Britain which must be addressed by politicians, the business community and the Church of England.

:: November 13: Business Secretary Vince Cable reveals he sympathises with the feelings of protesters, telling the BBC's Politics Show the demonstration reflects the feeling that a small few have done "extraordinarily well" in the economic crisis, while many more have suffered.

:: November 15: The City of London Corporation says it will recommence legal action to clear tents after talks with protesters "got nowhere".

:: November 16: The corporation attaches eviction notices to tents on the public highway close to St Paul's Cathedral, warning protesters that proceedings will be issued in the High Court if they are not removed by 6pm tomorrow. Protesters vow to appeal and to stay put.

:: November 19: Dame Vivienne Westwood returns to the camp and tells protesters: "What you're doing, I think it's wonderful."

:: November 25: Playwright Alan Bennett visits and leaves signed copies of The History Boys and A Life Like Other People's in the camp's library tent.

:: December 7: Hector Sants, chief executive of the Financial Services Authority, says a meeting with protesters has been "fruitful and constructive".

:: December 23: After a five day hearing, High Court judge Mr Justice Lindblom postpones his decision on whether to evict the camp until the new year.

:: December 25: Protesters celebrate Christmas at the camp with festive wishes from supporters like Radiohead. Some attend a Sung Eucharist in the cathedral.


:: January 18: The High Court backs the eviction bid. Mr Justice Lindblom said that the proposed action is "entirely lawful and justified" as well as necessary and proportionate. The City of London Corporation agrees not to take action until January 27 to allow protesters time to renew their applications directly to the Court of Appeal.

February 13: Protesters launch an appeal against eviction at the Court of Appeal.

February 22: Three judges headed by the Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger, dismiss Court of Appeal applications for permission to appeal against Mr Justice Lindblom's ruling.

The City of London Corporation says it will enforce the orders made by the High Court for the removal of the tents and equipment, but gives no timescale. Protesters are urged to dismantle the camp voluntarily.

Solicitors for Occupy London say protesters are discussing the best way to evacuate the camp in a peaceful and orderly fashion.

February 28: Police and bailiffs arrive to clear the site shortly after midnight.