Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Occupy London responds to City of London Corporation notice; Alleged assault

Occupy London acknowledges receipt of the ‘notice to remove’ issued by the City of London Corporation. Our legal team is studying the document carefully. [1]

Last week, Occupy London presented our formal response to the City of London Corporation. We have never received a response to this offer. Instead, the Corporation has opted to break off the process of dialogue completely and resort to the courts.

We asked the Corporation to do three things that every other local authority in the United Kingdom does as a matter of course. We asked the Corporation to make itself accountable to the public under the Freedom of Information Act. We asked the Corporation to publish details of the City Cash account. Finally, we asked the Corporation to be more open about the lobbying activities it has undertaken since the financial crisis of 2008.

For any other local authority in the country, these would be legal requirements. There is a troubling anomaly in the heart of our capital city, a place where normal rules do not apply. This anomaly is not just a picturesque anachronism that parades past St Paul’s in gilded carriages once a year. [2]

It is a concentration of power and influence that not only stops our economy working properly, it even warps the policies we follow at a national level. It brings us into disrepute with our neighbours.

Social responsibility is at the heart of the Occupy movement around the world, which seeks to create a more just society for the benefit of ordinary people, rather than the privileged few.

Some public bodies are also mindful of their social responsibilities. We note that St Paul’s Cathedral has issued a statement today saying that it has always desired a “peaceful resolution” to this situation:

“We are committed to maintaining St Paul’s as a sacred space in the heart of London. We recognise the local authority’s statutory right to proceed with the action it has. We have always desired a peaceful resolution and the canons will continue to hold regular meetings with representatives of the protesters.” [3]

Alleged assault
During the process of notices being issued to individual tents, a representative from the local authority – the City of London Corporation – is alleged to have assaulted two members of the public, one of whom is now receiving hospital treatment. When questioned, this individual refused to identify themselves in front of witnesses. We call on the Corporation to provide this information so that we may consider legal proceedings.

Video footage of this incident will be made available shortly.


[1] Images of the notice and a transcription of the text have been posted at:

[2] The new Lord Mayor passes the #occupylsx camp at St Paul’s in London, their message clear to see…!/LewisWhyld/status/135350482712530944/photo/1

[2] Occupy London: eviction notices attached to tents outside St Paul’s

[4] On Sunday 16th October at an assembly of over 500 people on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral, Occupy London collectively agreed the initial statement below. Please note, like all forms of direct democracy, the statement will always be a work in progress.

1 The current system is unsustainable. It is undemocratic and unjust. We need alternatives; this is where we work towards them.

2 We are of all ethnicities, backgrounds, genders, generations, sexualities dis/abilities and faiths. We stand together with occupations all over the world.

3 We refuse to pay for the banks’ crisis.

4 We do not accept the cuts as either necessary or inevitable. We demand an end to global tax injustice and our democracy representing corporations instead of the people.

5 We want regulators to be genuinely independent of the industries they regulate.

6 We support the strike on the 30th November and the student action on the 9thNovember, and actions to defend our health services, welfare, education and employment, and to stop wars and arms dealing.

7 We want structural change towards authentic global equality. The world’s resources must go towards caring for people and the planet, not the military, corporate profits or the rich.

8 We stand in solidarity with the global oppressed and we call for an end to the actions of our government and others in causing this oppression.

9 This is what democracy looks like. Come and join us!

[5] Bringing together a diverse range of people, Occupy London’s Stock Exchange and Finsbury Square (OccupyLFS) are part of more than 20 actions and occupations happening in towns and cities across the UK and over 950 actions worldwide coming together under the banner of “United For Global Change” calling for true democracy. OccupyLSX is supported by groups including UK Uncut, the London-based Assembly of the Spanish 15M movement and others. It has already received phenomenal interest, from the public and media in the UK and around the world, with the OccupyLSX facebook group now having almost 25,000 members.

[6] For more info on UK occupations please see:

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