from Occupy London:
Occupy London, part of the global movement for social and economic justice, today pledged to continue the campaign it started over four months ago in solidarity with similar campaigns in the US and beyond. Today, the Court of Appeal ruled that none of the five applications presented by Occupy London and Anonymous UK supporters would be heard.
Tammy Samede, the representative appellant on behalf of Occupy London commented: “It is a travesty that today’s decision will limit voices of dissent within the City of London. However, Occupy is far from over. We’ve cut our milk teeth at St Paul’s and now we are maturing, growing and learning how to run. From our work in schools to outreach in communities to even creating a record label, the creativity and imagination of the Occupy movement is beginning to bloom and our voices will be heard.
“The City of London is being wreckless in not providing a timetable for any action they wish to take and it is of great concern that they have refused to rule out the possibility of a nighttime eviction, in contravention of the guidelines set down by the Ministry of Justice.”
Occupy London Stock Exchange at St Paul’s Churchyard, the longest running Occupy encampment of its size, has now been in place over twice as long as Occupy Wall Street’s occupation of Zuccotti Square, which was cleared by NYPD in mid-November in controversial circumstances. Unlike their counterparts in New York, city authorities in London have been forced to comply with the rule of law and pursue their case through the courts.
John Cooper QC commented: “The five day trial and the hearing last week in front of one of the most influential courts in the country has firmly established Occupy as a leading and influential force in public debate. The legal proceedings recognised their integrity, determination and influence for good in modern Society.”
“Of course my clients are disappointed that in accordance with the strict interpretation of domestic law, they have not prevailed today but they do not regret one second of the chance afforded to them to make their case and challenge the approach of the Corporation and the Church.
“My clients will now be urgently considering their next legal steps with their legal team and will, we anticipate, be bringing their case to the European Court of Human Rights to give that Court the opportunity to consider the state of public protest law in Britain.” Professor John Cooper QC will continue to advise pro bono.
This is only the beginning
The first press release issued from Occupy London on the occasion of its first General Assembly on 15 October said: “Our movement for change transcends political affiliation – you don’t have to be left or right. Come and join us as we begin to open up a space in London’s Square Mile to start much needed conversations about changes in the financial sector and government, so that they better serve and protect the interests and well being of the country.”
On the terms we set for ourselves, Occupy London’s first four months cannot be seen as anything other than a resounding success.
This is just the beginning. The movement is growing and evolving beyond its spiritual and symbolic home by the steps of St Paul’s near the London Stock Exchange. That we have been able to make our points in court – unlike so many of our sister occupations around the world – secures fair process for all protests that come after us.