Meanwhile, the City of London Corporation has announced that it is giving protestors 24 hours to remove themselves from public land before legal action is resumed. The legal action would not affect those on the land belonging to the Christians of saint Paul’s cathedral. A spokesperson for the cathedral said that the were still “working towards a peaceful outcome.”
Stuart Fraser, policy chairman at the City of London Corporation, said: “We paused legal action for two weeks for talks with those in the camp on how to shrink the extent of the tents and to set a departure date – but got nowhere. So, sadly, now they have rejected a reasonable offer to let them stay until the new year, it’s got to be the courts. We’d still like to sort this without court action but from now on we will have to have any talks in parallel with court action – not instead.
“We are getting reports about vulnerable people, cases of late-night drinking and other worrying trends, so it’s time to act. It will clearly take time, but we are determined to see this through. Lawful protesters who stand or walk are a regular part of London. But tents, equipment and now, increasingly, quite a lot of mess, is not what a highway is for and others are losing out.”
Occupy London protestors expressed disappointment through their Twitter account that the corporation had chosen to end the dialogue. Protestors see it as the corporation that ended the talks after Occupy proposed open governance requirements. Their requests were that the City of London Corporation do things that other local authorities do as a matter of course, including to make itself accountable to the public under the Freedom of Information Act and to make certain aspects of its financial and lobbying activities more transparent. Yesterday’s announcement was the first response that the protestors received to their requests.
Occupy London protestors have suggested that the welfare issues that the corporation has raised are ones that exist in the area regardless of the presence of the camp. Despite this, they have set up a welfare initiative to help people from challenging situations and with pre-existing difficulties by giving them direction to existing service providers.
The full list of signatories to the Christian statement is on Facebook and is available here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christian-solidarity-with-Occupy-LSX/227261750671690.