St. Paul's Cathedral: Police Evacuate Occupy London Camp [PHOTOS]

   on February 28 2012 5:53 AM

British anti-capitalist protestors are being evicted from the Occupy encampment outside St. Paul’s Cathedral in London in the early hours of Tuesday by police and bailiffs.

The operation that started early Tuesday was largely peaceful but police said that there were 20 arrests.

Last week, Occupy London was denied permission to appeal against the British High Court decision to evict them.

Over 100 bailiffs and police officers arrived in the square outside Cathedral early Tuesday to clear tents and camping gear.

Bailiffs told protestors that they have only five minutes to pack up and leave. The police then moved in and removed wooden structures, tents and other equipment from the site.

Today the City of London Corporation has begun to enforce the High Court orders for the removal of the tents and equipment outside St Paul's, the corporation said in a statement.

We regret that it has come to this but the high court judgment speaks for itself.  High court enforcement officers employed by the City of London Corporation are undertaking the removal with the police present to ensure public safety and maintain order. We would ask protesters to move on peaceably, it added.

Occupy London, the largest-surviving encampment, inspired by the New York protest, has been on outside the 300-year-old church since Oct. 15, 2011.

The camp was set outside the Cathedral after the protestors were banned from camping in front of the nearby London Stock Exchange.

Occupy London Camp Outside St Paul's Cathedral

A protester struggles as he is removed by bailiffs from the last remaining structure of the Occupy encampment outside St Paul's Cathedral in London Feb. 28, 2012. Bailiffs, backed by riot police, evicted British anti-capitalism activists from a protest camp outside St Paul's Cathedral in London in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Reuters

Occupy London Camp Outside St Paul's Cathedral

A protester meditates in front of a statue of Buddha as bailiffs lift the frame of his tent from around him during the eviction of the Occupy encampment outside St Paul's Cathedral in London Feb. 28, 2012. Reuters

Occupy London Camp Outside St Paul's Cathedral

Riot police detain a protester during the eviction of the Occupy encampment outside St Paul's Cathedral in London Feb. 28, 2012. Reuters

Occupy London Camp Outside St Paul's Cathedral

Protesters in Guy Fawkes masks and riot police look on during the eviction of the Occupy encampment outside St Paul's Cathedral in London Feb. 28, 2012. Reuters

Occupy London Camp Outside St Paul's Cathedral

Riot police carry a detained protester through their cordon during the eviction of the Occupy encampment outside St Paul's Cathedral in London Feb. 28, 2012. Reuters

Occupy London Camp Outside St Paul's Cathedral

Riot police carry a detained protester during the eviction of the Occupy encampment outside St Paul's Cathedral in London Feb. 28, 2012. Reuters

Occupy London Camp Outside St Paul's Cathedral

Leaflets are left on the ground as protesters are removed by the police from the Occupy encampment in front of St Paul's Cathedral in London Feb. 28, 2012. Reuters

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