19 Jan 2012

Occupy London protesters told to leave cathedral

8:34 am on 19 January 2012

A British court ruled on Wednesday that a protest camp denouncing economic inequality should be removed from its site outside St Paul's Cathedral in London.

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.

The protesters had originally targeted the nearby London Stock Exchange, but were blocked from the surrounding square and instead set up camp outside the cathedral.

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 hearing a High Court judge said the camp should be removed on grounds of safety and hygiene and to allow better access to the cathedral for worshippers.

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.

A lawyer representing Occupy London said the campers would appeal against the decision.