Legal assault on Save Leyton Marsh Camp/aignTagged as:
Two sets of legal papers have been served on the occupation at Leyton Marsh, where the Olympic Delivery Authority and Lea Valley Regional Park Authority are attempting to build a four storey temporary basketball training facility.
Last night following a meeting with the campaign group: Save Leyton Marsh in a local pub, occupiers and locals discovered that the authorities had served two sets of legal papers which apply to the campaigners and occupiers alike.
It has been over 9 days since any work has been carried out on the site at Leyton Marsh. On Monday two trucks carrying asphalt arrived at the entrance to Lea Valley Park but soon turned away after a group of 20 people stood in the entrance road to the construction site. With their efforts to go ahead with the construction continuosly opposed by local campaigners and occupiers, the authorities have decided to wield legal power to force an end to the resistance and proceed with construction.
The two legal claims being brought have different aims. The first is an injunction claim by the Olympic Delivery Authority which is due to be heard tomorrow (Wednesday, April 4th) in the High Court in Court 10 at 10.30 a.m. This one is targeted at those who would stand in front of the lorries and prevent them from bringing concrete onto the Leyton Marsh site. Significantly it contains a claim for costs for 335,000 pounds. It is currently addressed to 'Persons Unknown', however anyone who breaches such an injunction could make themselves liable to arrest and also liable for costs. This is likely designed to intimidate campaigners many of whom have homes, jobs and family.
The second legal claim is a claim for possession by Lea Valley Regional Park Authority. It will be heard this Thursday, April 5th at 10 a.m, Hearing Room 2 at Rolls Building, Fetter Lane, EC4A 1NL before Master Marsh (yes that really is his name!). The aim of evicting the occupation setup over a week ago next to the construction site by a group of concerned people who came to support the Campaign to Save Leyton Marsh. This also contains an injunction which would prevent 'Persons Unknown' from using tents or lighting fires. As the LVRPA is a willing partner in the operation to build the basketball facility, it seems quite possible that this is a coordinated assault designed to remove the camp and the peaceful resistance that is inherent to it.
This two pronged legal assault has been launched with virtually no notice giving the local campaigners or occupiers almost no time to mount any form of legal defence. Its timing and methodology suggests the authorities are very keen to end this inconvenient challenge.
It is impossible to predict what will happen next. If the injunction claim is successful it means that anyone who obstructs a lorry will be arrested. The stakes for occupiers and local campaigners may be getting higher but there is still a huge determination shared by both groups to try by whatever peaceful means necessary to stop the construction. It is evident by the reaction of so many local people who regularly visit the occupation just how much they value the space in what is a crowded and comparitively deprived part of London.
More updates coming soon.