Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly‘s Sam Duckworth has expressed his sadness at the Occupy London evictions which took place in the early hours of this morning (February 28).
Police and bailiffs evicted protestors, some of whom have been camping outside St Paul’s Cathedral since October 15, after the High Court granted a request by the City Of London corporation that they be removed from the site last week. A number of protestors subsequently attempted to appeal against this, but were overruled and 20 were arrested.
According to BBC News, police arrived at the site just after midnight and gave all protestors five minutes to leave. After this had passed, police began clearing the site and made around 20 arrests in the process of doing so. Despite the arrests, the operation passed off in a largely peaceful manner.
Duckworth, who has been a keen supporter of Occupy London, live tweeted the eviction as it happened, writing on Twitter.com/forgetcape: “This camp was the most inspiring place I’ve been to in my short time in London. So sad to see it end like this.”
He also spoke out against the eviction of the School of Ideas, where he, Kate Nash and others have held workshops for members of the local community. Protestors at this location were also evicted last night.
Speaking about its decision to order the eviction, City Of London corporation said in a statement: “The City of London Corporation has begun to enforce the High Court orders for the removal of the tents and equipment outside St Paul’s. We regret that it has come to this but the High Court Judgment speaks for itself and the Court of Appeal has confirmed that judgment. High Court enforcement officers employed by the City of London Corporation are undertaking the removal with the police present to ensure public safety and maintain order. We would ask protesters to move on peaceably.”
The Metropolitan Police also issued a statement about the eviction, saying: “At 12.10 tonight, bailiffs employed by the City of London Corporation began enforcing a High Court order for the removal of tents and equipment outside St Paul’s Cathedral. Officers from the City of London Police supported by Metropolitan Police are present to ensure public safety, maintain order and facilitate lawful protest.”
The Occupy movement began in September 2011 and has spawned protests camps in almost 100 cities across the world so far.