In London, court says occupiers must leave St. Paul's Cathedral
London, January 18 (ENInews)--Britain's High Court on 18 January ordered
anti-corporate protesters evicted from a camp they have occupied for three
months outside London's iconic St. Paul's Cathedral.
The demonstrators, identifying themselves as the Occupy London Stock Exchange
movement, set up their camp on 15 October as part of a global "Occupy" campaign
targeting corporate greed, Religion News Service reports. But after a lengthy
legal battle, High Court Justice Keith Lindblom granted possession orders and
injunctions against the protesters to the City of London Corporation, which owns
the land, calling the action "entirely lawful and justified."
When the encampment, which eventually included some 200 tents, was set up, it
forced the closure of the 17th-century St. Paul's for the first time since World
War II. At first, cathedral authorities told London police to stay back while
allowing some protesters inside the premises. The protests triggered debate
within the cathedral's clergy, leading to the resignations of Dean Graeme
Knowles and Canon Chancellor Giles Fraser when the corporation pushed initially
to get the demonstrators moved.
In the 18 January ruling, Lindblom said he recognized the "sincerity and
passion" of the protesters, but he added that politics "is not for the court to
judge." The court granted the protesters a stay of three days, and perhaps
longer, to prepare their appeal, which could delay any attempt by London police
to enforce the eviction order.
After the ruling, Richard Chartres, the Anglican Bishop of London, told
journalists that while "bishops cannot have all the answers to what are complex
economic problems ... what we can do is broker communications and make sure that
a proper connection between finance and its ethical and moral context is found."