OccupyLSX evicted and School of Ideas bulldozed

Tagged as: eviction free_spaces occupy occupylondon occupylsx repression social_struggles solidarity
Neighbourhoods:

St Paul's Occupation and School of ideas were evicted during the night, starting when the camp was surrounded at midnight. Police moved in and cleared the tents with most campers waiting on the steps with their belongings. St Pauls itself issued a Trespass Order to stop protestors gathering on steps to keep safe & warm from eviction. At 9 am the School of ideas was bulldozed to the ground.

A promise from Occupy London: this is only the beginning. The last thing to go were the kitchen shelves. Around a dozen occupiers peacefully resisted to the last; a short distance away a vigil continued on the Cathedral steps as others observed, supported, prayed and remembered. 

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The police cordons made the groups seem further apart than they actually were.

On the steps, a mini GA discussed events as they were happening around it – and in particular the collusion of Saint Paul’s Cathedral in the eviction they had previously said that they did not want to see. At around 2am in the morning, the floodlights which illuminate the neoclassical edifice of that great building were turned off. When the lights returned, four policemen could be clearly seen on the balcony, in silhouette.

Not long afterwards, police were given leave to clear the steps themselves, the site of former Canon Chancellor Giles Fraser’s famous intervention of 16 October, when he asked the police to leave and recognised our right to assemble. Giles Fraser, who is so much a part of this story, was prevented from crossing the police lines to reach the Occupy London Stock Exchange site tonight. We would have liked to see him there.

This morning, the City of London Corporation and St Paul’s Cathedral have dismantled a camp and displaced a small community, but they will not derail a movement. The attention given to the final hours of the Occupy London Stock Exchange site is testament to that. We would like to thank all those who got the word out on social and traditional media overnight. We are deeply appreciative of the sustained attention we have received; it’s all the more precious at absurd hours of the morning.

The natural question to rush to in these moments is “what next?” In the short term, there will be a GA at 7pm on Tuesday by the steps of St Paul’s. In the medium term, it is only right that people will need time to rest, reflect and recharge, to take stock and learn the lessons of the past four and a half months. But be assured that plans are already afoot: plans of some ambition, employing a diversity of tactics and delivered with the aplomb you would expect from us. All will be revealed in time. May is one of our favourite months.

This morning also saw the eviction of the Occupy London School of Ideas in Islington in, to say the least, somewhat unorthodox circumstances, while their case was still progressing through the court system. We trust that occupiers will be able to fully retrieve their belongings before what sounds like a hastily brought forward demolition is enacted. What happens to Southern Housing Group’s planning application this week deserves careful examination, as do the views of local people living near Bunhill Row.

We’ll miss Occupy London Stock Exchange but not because of the tents, or even the kitchen shelves: it was a makeshift, loosely cooperative, occasionally quarrelling and fiercely idealistic group of people who came together to achieve something extraordinary. The relationships forged during these strange and beautiful four and a half months still have much further to run. This is only the beginning.

 

Links:

Link_go Occupy LSX Website

Additions

About 20 arrests

by 4.30am according to cops

info about arrestees please

what were the charges, are they still in custody (if so where, and what's been done in solidarity/to support), do they have court dates, etc?

come on people!

re ppl arrested

Sorry i don't know all the details, but at the general assembly last night it was reported that ppl had been taken to stations including Marylebone and Albany.

Six ppl were at Paddington Green charged with obstructing an officer, and two had possible charges of Affray which is quite serious.

Five have been released with conditions specifying they could not return to St Pauls.

Also reported that one person is due in court this morning -they were taken to Bishopsgate.

If you want more I suggest you contact GBC Legal

Occupied Times on eviction

St Paul’s Camp Cleared – Eviction Marks End of the Beginning for OccupyLSX

Bailiffs, assisted by police, launched the action to clear the long-standing Occupy London camp at St. Paul’s this week. Shortly before midnight on Monday, 27th February, bailiffs, officers in riot gear and police vans began to draw together to enforce the eviction order sought by the City of London Corporation – the archaic governing body of London’s financial district – that had been upheld in court last week. As this enforcement was underway, the nearby ‘School of Ideas’ community centre was also evicted, in violation of ongoing court proceedings, with the building later razed to the ground.

Since the rejection of the appeals case before the Royal Court of Justice on February 22nd, most valuable items and a number of tents had already been removed by protesters from the site at St. Paul’s in anticipation of police action and based on fears about the disregard for protesters’ property. Since Friday night, occupiers had held a permanent and peaceful vigil on the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral in anticipation of the eviction. Through the camp’s General Assembly it was decided to endorse individual responses to the eviction, and legal guidelines were distributed throughout the camp and online to inform protesters of the possible legal ramifications of various forms of resistance.

On Monday afternoon, Occupy London received an anonymous phone call from someone claiming to work for the City of London, who warned of preparations for an imminent eviction. Shortly after midnight, activists alerted through phone trees and tweets began to arrive at St. Paul’s. City of London police set up a cordon around the perimeter of St. Paul’s preventing anyone from entering the area after 12:30 a.m. At the site of the camp, most occupiers had gathered on the Cathedral steps – considered by many a safe zone, since the church’s land was not covered by the eviction order – while around 20 protesters gathered on top of a wooden structure that had been erected from pallets and kitchen shelves in front of the cathedral. Shielded by police in full riot gear, bailiffs began clearing and breaking up tents while some protesters prayed, sang, danced and broadcast the eviction via several mobile livestreams. At around 2 a.m., and without any verbal warning, police and bailiffs tightened the kettle around the wooden structure and began to dismantle it. According to legal observers that were present at the scene, the police acted with “too much haste and not enough caution”. Several protesters were forcibly pulled to the ground and stepped on by riot police for acts of peaceful resistance. By 3:20 a.m., the last remaining protesters had been dragged from the structure. When questioned about the disproportionate show of force, representatives for the City of London Corporation and the City of London Police had “no comment” for the Occupied Times. Legal observers reported that while there were around 20 arrests for obstruction of police work, the majority of activists on site complied peacefully with the eviction order. The last of the occupiers chained himself to a tree; it took an hour and a half to remove him.

Protesters who had withdrawn to the steps of St. Paul’s also found themselves confronted by police. Officers claimed that church officials had asked them to clear the front of the cathedral under Section 14 of the Public Order Act – the threat of “serious public disorder, serious damage to property or serious disruption to the life of the community”. While several police observers watched from the upper balcony of St. Paul’s, units in riot gear dragged protesters off the church steps. Occupiers who wanted to collect their personal belongings were sometimes refused access, and saw their bags trashed by bailiffs and city workers. Around 3:30 a.m. the last protesters were removed while chanting “Shame on you!” and “You work for us!” to police officers.

No church officials were visibly present to witness the forcible eviction of peaceful protesters from the cathedral steps, and Giles Fraser, the former canon chancellor who resigned in protest against church chapter’s decisions regarding the camp, was prevented from entering the site. Fraser described the eviction as “a terrible sight” and “a sad day for the Church of England”. Tammy Samede, a supporter of Occupy London and litigant-in-person before the High Court agreed. “I am religious. To see the police sweeping across God’s doorstep is very upsetting. Even during a war, churches are sanctuaries, priests are always able to move between opposing sides – but apparently not here.” According to Anon, another Occupy LSX supporter, “Maybe we should seek sanctury from a Mosque, because the Christian church totally let its own followers down”.

To many, the camp at St. Paul’s had become a real home over the past four months. According to a statement released through the Occupy London website, “We’ll miss Occupy London Stock Exchange but not because of the tents, or even the kitchen shelves: it was a makeshift, loosely cooperative, occasionally quarrelling and fiercely idealistic group of people who came together to achieve something extraordinary. The relationships forged during these strange and beautiful four and a half months still have much further to run.” Says Tammy Samede, “I had nothing but my tent, a change of clothes and a few books. But over the past months I have been happier that I had been in many years.” Ronan McNern, a member of the media working group, agreed: “This is where we built a community, of occupiers, homeless people and others. People lived here, people came for weekends. Their homes are now being destroyed, their tents are being taken. It is demoralising. What happens to the right to assemble? Will we be allowed to express our views here again, or is that right reserved for the Queen and the privileged?”

By 6 a.m., around 70 protesters were left without shelter. While the City of London Corporation promised to provide accommodation on the night of the eviction, they failed to demonstrate taking steps to ensure that vulnerable individuals had access to shelter, counselling, and food.

At the nearby School of Ideas, around 15 occupiers were evicted, despite the fact that court proceedings were still underway and the building – which had been established in the name of Occupy to serve as a community centre – was considered a legal squat. By 6 a.m., bulldozers had arrived at the scene. Two hours later, the demolition of the abandoned school was underway. Reports later suggested that the possession order for occupiers at the School of Ideas had been signed by Secretary of State for Justice Kenneth Clarke.

While the eviction of the St. Paul’s camp was an emotional moment for many occupiers and ended the world’s longest occupation (and one of the largest), many supporters expressed optimism about the weeks and months ahead. Tammy Samede said: “This eviction is about tents, not people. They can remove our camp but they cannot silence us.” According to Ronan McNern, ongoing projects such as Occupation Records, Working Group initiatives and the two weeks of protest that are planned around May Day will carry the momentum forward and signal that the movement has outgrown its initial “camp stage”. Jamie Kelsey-Fry, a member of the media and citizenship Working Groups, agreed: “Movements move. This was the first step, but Occupy is about so much more than a single camp. If anything, this is the end of the beginning.”

http://theoccupiedtimes.co.uk/?p=2528

see also
http://theoccupiedtimes.co.uk/?p=2532

Occy-bye-London

here's SchNEWS "report from the front lines as police evict the Bank of Ideas and Occupy LSX in one night"

"Four and a half months after its conception, Occupy London was dealt two severe blows on Monday (27th) as the camp at St Paul's Cathedral and the School of Ideas were evicted in one busy night for the Met and City of London police. What happens next is anyones guess as OccupyLSX themselves have stated.This morning, the City of London Corporation and St Paul's Cathedral have dismantled a camp and displaced a small community, but they will not derail a movement.."

Continues here:
http://www.schnews.org.uk/stories/OCCU-BYE-LONDON/