Occupy London protestors plan to settle elsewhere in the area
Occupy London protestors are regrouping and planning to set up camp elsewhere in the area after police forced them from Hampstead Heath last night (Wednesday).
The band of campers, some wearing V for Vendetta masks as a symbol of anti-capitalist protest, were threatened with arrest by the Heath Constabulary police force.
The camp on the old hockey pitch was cleared and the protestors escorted from the grounds by 9pm.
Although the 15 or so protestors had promised a legal challenge should they be removed, some of the group said the protestors’ removal had past without incident and had been “amicable”.
The City of London Corporation, which manages the Heath and St Paul’s Cathedral where the protestors were previously based, took action under a bylaw which bans camping on the beauty spot.
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A court order was not required, in contrast to St Paul’s, but the City highlighted the right to protest had not been impeded.
A spokesman for City of London said: “It’s fine for people to protest on the Heath, but what we can’t have is tents, you can’t camp. That’s why we took the equipment but didn’t remove the people.”
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Some of the campers – a faction of the Occupy London movement which squatted on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral for several months – have gathered at a home in Cricklewood and are planning their next move.
Timothy Sullivan, a 46-year-old former social worker, claimed the protest had been a success by raising issues such as the commercialisation of the beauty spot.
”One of the objectives was to raise the issue of gay cruising on the West Heath,” he said.
“It’s a bit of a taboo subject. It’s not about homophobia, it’s more about airing people’s concerns.”
Camp leader Tammy Samede was not available for comment.