3:20am UK, Tuesday February 28, 2012
Police have begun evicting anti-capitalist protesters from their camp outside St Paul's Cathedral in London.
Occupy London was refused permission by the Court of Appeal last week to challenge orders evicting them from the site which has been home to the camp since October 15 last year.
The City of London Corporation has called on protesters to remove their tents voluntarily but an estimated 50 or 60 still remain.
The atmosphere at the site is said to be calm although some protesters have created makeshift barriers out of wooden shelving units.
The corporation said in a statement on its website that it has "begun to enforce the High Court orders for the removal of the tents and equipment outside St Paul's".
Whatever happens tonight, we are taking this to the European Court. Whether the camp goes or not, the right to protest is what matters here.
Occupy LSX protester Ronan
It went on: "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 City of London Corporation is ensuring vulnerable people are being helped and supported to find appropriate accommodation in partnership with Broadway, a charity for the homeless. See notes below for more information."
At the camp, Sky's Gamal Fahnbulleh said a large number of police officers wearing riot gear and around 20 to 30 bailiffs are on the scene.
Dozens of bailiffs are involved in the eviction at the anti-capitalist camp in the City
"They have started moving bits of wood and tents - all that has been here over the last four months or so.
"There seems to be two separate groups of protesters, one on the steps of the Cathedral watching what's going, peacefully chanting and waving their banners.
"But another group have set up a makeshift fence with bits of wood - they seem to have no intention of moving any time soon.
Occupy LSX protester Ronan told Sky News: "There's two kettles in operation. There's one around people who are sitting on the steps... there's another kettle around the camp and there's hundreds and hundreds of police here all around us.
"The bailiffs are making their way through, clearing and knocking down tents. It's a bit emotional to be honest, this has become a home for occupiers as well as homeless people."
He went on: "Outside of the kettles there is a riot squad there and another wider kettle around all of it and I can see crowds amassing outside of those."
The protester added: "Whatever happens tonight, we are taking this to the European Court. Whether the camp goes or not, the right to protest is what matters here."
The High Court found in favour of the City of London Corporation in the case against the camp on January 18, 2012.
Granting orders for possession and injunctions against Occupy London at the High Court last month, Mr Justice Lindblom said the proposed action by the City of London Corporation - which it pledged not to enforce pending appeal - was "entirely lawful and justified", as well as necessary and proportionate.
The appeal judges, headed by the Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger, said that the protesters had raised no arguable case.
Apparently the Police have taken down the tents , removed the Library and cleared the area completely.
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