Occupy London Stock Exchange (LSX) protesters have been told to leave their tents outside St Paul’s Cathedral or face legal action.
The defiant protesters, however, announced they would not leave the area and “would appeal against any legal attempt to force the protesters out.”
Occupy London protesters pitched their tents in the churchyard on October 15 and successfully stalled eviction attempts by entering into dialogue with institutions that wished to remove them.
Press TV has interviewed Christopher Walker, a political commentator, to discuss the issue further.
Press TV: I would like to ask you about how this all will end for the city of London. We know now that the deadline has passed, that this may very well go to the high court, how bad will this be for London?
Walker: I think it will be very messy because the court action could take some time to come to fruition and it really depends on how the city of London cooperation, which as you righty say owned some of the land on which the protesters are camping, decides to go on. The campers themselves have decided –most of them– that won’t move and they marked the deadline at 6:00 pm local time for their eviction with what call a ‘silence scream’ –raising their hands symbolically in silence for one minute; many have ripped off their tents, the eviction notices that have been put there, but it is not like America at the moment. I mean the violence here –which could come at the end of this protest– has still not arrived and nobody knows when the forces of law are going to go in and try and actually effect an eviction, it could well be early in the morning –like that which began in New York when the protesters are asleep– or it could be weeks away while the court cases roll on.
Press TV: I would like to ask you about St Paul’s Cathedral’s role in all of this. it wasn’t too long ago that the Cathedral actually wanted the protesters to leave their grounds for the reasons of them losing tours and revenues, etc. Now the cathedral supposedly opposes the removal of the demonstrators. Is the cathedral this innocent in this entire situation or is there something a bit more sinister going on behind the scenes?
Walker: I would say probably neither of that, it’s in total confusion, don’t forget there have been major resignations from those that run St Paul’s Cathedral about this. We know the bishop of London is himself in favor of these people leaving whereas it seems the arch-bishop of Canterbury –the supreme leader of the church as it were in Britain-has expressed sympathy with them. The church doesn’t really know what to do; some members who run some chapters of St Paul’s Cathedral, as it is called– recognized the fact that the local authority has the right but others of them want to continue talking with the protesters and arguing the case about the issues of greed and inequality which have dominated the protest movement here.
Press TV: You had mentioned violence in your first answer as well. Is that what we should now expect, considering that the deadline has now passed?
Walker: It is hard to see what else would happen unless the negotiations –which broke down after two weeks before the eviction was issued today [Thursday]– will remove the protesters. They say –not all of them but most of them– are saying we are not going anywhere and once the court has spoken, they will have to be removed and whether they have said they would only indulge in civil disobedience, but on the other hand, this is also well-reported on the social network media that if an eviction exercise was organized, there are other volunteers throughout London who might descend on the area. So my own haunch is that one day along the line we will probably get the violence but I don’t know if it will be as bad as what we have witnessed in America today.