Occupy London protesters evicted

By MSN/PA Max Nash/PA Wire
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Tents and other structures are removed from the square in front of St Paul's Cathedral

Anti-capitalist protesters have been evicted from outside St Paul's Cathedral, more than four months since their occupation began.

Max Nash/PA Wire
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Corporation of London workers move in to evict the protesters

City of London Police said 20 people had so far been arrested in the "largely peaceful" operation.

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Activists try to save some of their belongings as the eviction begins

Bailiffs and police arrived at the site in the early hours after Occupy London was refused permission by the Court of Appeal to challenge orders evicting protesters.

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Anti-capitalist protesters have occupied a square in front of St Paul's since November

Confirming the eviction had begun, City of London Corporation said in a statement: "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."

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Protesters try to stop workers from removing their tents and structures

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.

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Protesters climbed on top of structures to slow down the eviction process

The corporation called on campers to remove their tents voluntarily. Although some remained on site when police arrived, many began dismantling the equipment before bailiffs moved in.

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Police attempt to remove structures from the Occupy London camp

Gary Sherborne, 50, said: "We haven't got any choice and I'd rather protect the tent for another day without it being destroyed by the bailiffs."

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Although it was largely peaceful, some protesters did not want to go quietly

Meanwhile, a group of protesters remained defiant, waving flags and banging tambourines on top of a makeshift wooden structure facing the cathedral. However, this platform was eventually dismantled by bailiffs after police in riot gear surrounded it. Campaigners were also cleared from the steps of the cathedral.

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Around 20 people have so far been arrested

An Occupy London spokesman said its School of Ideas in a disused school building in Islington, north London, had also been evicted.

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Tents and structures are thrown into a rubbish truck in London

Supporter Kai Wargalla, a 27-year-old student from Germany who has been camping at St Paul's since the occupation began on October 15, said: "It's really sad what's happening today but I think we can be proud of what we've achieved. Our community is being attacked here, but we're going to reconvene and come back stronger."