Occupy London

Occupy London
Occupy London
Part of the Occupy movement
Occupy London Tent.jpg
Occupy London Tent
Date From 15 October 2011
(&100000000000000000000000 years, &1000000000000003900000039 days)
Location London, England, United Kingdom
Coordinates: 51°30′51″N 0°05′57″W / 51.5141°N 0.0993°W / 51.5141; -0.0993
Status Ongoing
Causes Economic inequality, corporate influence over government, inter alia.
Characteristics Demonstration, occupation, protest, street protesters

Occupy London is an ongoing peaceful protest[4] and demonstration against economic inequality, the lack of affordability of housing in the United Kingdom, social injustice, corporate greed and the influence of companies and lobbyists on government taking place in London, United Kingdom, which started on 15 October 2011. The protests began in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York, United States.[5][1] The protests have established two encampments in central London: one outside St Paul's Cathedral in the City of London and the other in Finsbury Square just to the north of the City.[1]

The Occupy London protests are backed by the tax avoidance protest group UK Uncut.[6]


Chronology of events

On 10 October 2011 a campaign was launched on Facebook for protests to take place at the London Stock Exchange on 15 October in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York and with multiple other protests planned worldwide for that day.[7][8]

Week one (15 October to 21 October)

The London Stock Exchange in Paternoster Square was the initial target for the protesters on 15 October. Attempts to occupy the square were thwarted by police.[4] Police sealed off the entrance to the square as it was private property, a High Court injunction had been granted against public access to the square.[9] 2,500-3,000 people gathered nearby outside St Paul's Cathedral, with around 250 camping overnight.[4] Mid-afternoon on the 15th Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, gave an impromptu speech to the protesters on the topic of anonymity after he was challenged by police for wearing a mask as he walked to the protest.[5][10] On the Sunday morning the canon of St. Paul's, Reverend Giles Fraser, asked the police to leave the cathedral steps, [11] saying he was happy for people to "exercise their right to protest peacefully" outside the cathedral.[4][12]

By 17 October an encampment of around 150 tents together with makeshift tarpaulin shelters was clustered around the west side of St Paul's Cathedral.[13][14][15] On the 17th the Occupy London protesters issued a nine-point 'Initial Statement' drafted by "an assembly of over 500 people on the steps of St Paul's [Cathedral]".[3] On 21 October, the Dean of St Paul's announced that the cathedral would be closing until further notice as a result of the Occupy London camp pitched outside, and asked the protesters to leave the vicinity of the building "so that the cathedral can reopen as soon as possible".[16][17][18] On the evening of the 21st it was reported that the protesters had decided that they would remain in their encampment outside the cathedral, and that they believed that they could not be lawfully removed from the site without a court order.[19]

A panorama of the protest outside St Paul's Cathedral
A panorama of the protest outside St Paul's Cathedral

Week two (22 October to 28 October)

On 22 October the protesters established a second camp in Finsbury Square, just north of the City of London in the London Borough of Islington.[20][21][22]

Solidarity poster referencing the We are the 99% slogan.

On 26 October it was reported that the Dean of St Paul's had decided that the cathedral would reopen on 28 October, following the resolution of all health and safety concerns.[23][24] The move was described as an "embarrassing U-turn" by the British national newspaper The Daily Telegraph.[23] On 27 October Dr Giles Fraser resigned as Canon Chancellor of St Paul's over disagreements on the handling of the demonstrators, saying "I resigned because I believe that the chapter has set on a course of action that could mean there will be violence in the name of the church."[25][26] The 28th saw the resignation of the part-time Chaplain of St Paul's Fraser Dyer.

Week three (29 October to 4 November)

On the 1st of November The Rt Revd Graeme Knowles the Dean of St Paul's resigned following the backlash against his Chapter's resolution to forcibly evict the Occupy London protesters from outside the cathedral.[27] Canary Wharf Group took legal action on the 3rd, against protesters attempting to Occupy Docklands.[28]

Initial statement

On 16 October, the Occupy London protesters issued the following 'Initial Statement':[29]

  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 9th November, 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.

Overnight occupancy

In the week beginning 24 October a number of British national newspapers[who?] reported that footage from a thermal imaging camera shot by a police helicopter revealed that only around 10% of the tents at the Occupy London camp outside St Paul's were occupied all night.[30] The protesters disputed these claims[31][32][33][34] and the City of London Police later confirmed that neither the details of the thermal imaging cameras nor the occupancy estimates had come from them.[31] Two British national newspapers, the Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph, subsequently videoed the camp using thermal imaging equipment, which they claimed confirmed that only around 10% of the tents were occupied all night.[35][36]

The claims were disputed by the protesters and other journalists, who noted that most protesters did not go to sleep at the time of the day when the images were taken, and thermal imaging produces inaccurate results when used on insulative material like those of the tents.[37] The protesters recorded and published videos using the same thermal camera to demonstrate this,[38][39] and lodged a complaint with the Press Complaints Commission regarding the claims.[40] They also mentioned that many of them are 'ordinary people with jobs and families' and therefore cannot be present on site at all times.[41]

The techniques used by the newspapers were subsequently criticised as "rubbish science" by a military scientist, according to reports in The Guardian, although the source asked to remain anonymous.[42]

On 11/11/2011 police arrested 170 EDL members on Armistice Day when intelligence revealed EDL members planned to attack campers at St Paul's Cathedral.[43]

See also

Occupy articles

Other protests

Related articles


  1. ^ a b c "Day of 'Global Revolution' comes to London as thousands of demonstrators take over the City". Daily Mail. 15 October 2011. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2049486/Global-protest-comes-London-thousands-demonstrators-City.html. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 
  2. ^ ""Occupy Wall Street" protest spreads to London". Xinhua. 15 October 2011. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/15/c_131193574.htm. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "'Occupy' protests: activists deliver charter of grievances". The Telegraph. 17 October 2011. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/8831851/Occupy-protests-activists-deliver-charter-of-grievances.html. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d Davies, Caroline (16 October 2011). "Occupy London protest continues into second day". The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/oct/16/occupy-london-protest-second-day. 
  5. ^ a b "Occupy London protests in financial district". BBC News. 15 October 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15322134. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 
  6. ^ "Anti-corporate protests to hit London". The Sydney Morning Herald. AFP. 2011-10-12. http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/anticorporate-protests-to-hit-london-20111012-1lk1e.html. Retrieved October 12, 2011. "Protests against corporate power that have taken hold in the US are to hit Britain on Saturday with a rally in front of the London Stock Exchange. Occupy London Stock Exchange (OccupyLSX) [...] is backed by British anti-austerity group UK Uncut, the London-based Assembly of the Spanish 15M movement and the People's Assemblies Network Global Day of Action." 
  7. ^ "Britons to occupy London Stocks on Oct. 15". PressTV. 10 October 2011. http://presstv.com/detail/203844.html. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 
  8. ^ "Now the protest spreads across the Atlantic: Thousands plan camp in London's financial centre inspired by 'Occupy Wall Street' campaign". Daily Mail. 13 October 2011. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2047277/Thousands-plan-protest-camp-Londons-financial-centre-inspired-Occupy-Wall-Street-campaign.html?ito=feeds-newsxml. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 
  9. ^ "Stock exchange occupation blocked". WalesOnline (Wales). 15 October 2011. http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/uk-news/2011/10/15/stock-exchange-occupation-blocked-91466-29601928/. 
  10. ^ "Julian Assange joins London anti-corporate rally". Hindustan Times. 15 October 2011. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Julian-Assange-joins-London-anti-corporate-rally/Article1-757730.aspx. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 
  11. ^ Ford Rojas, John-Paul (17 October 2011). "'Occupy' protests: St Paul's invaded but canon asks the police to move on". The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/8830568/Occupy-protests-St-Pauls-invaded-but-canon-asks-the-police-to-move-on.html. Retrieved 27 October 2011. 
  12. ^ "Police back down from "Occupy London" site". CBS News. 16 October 2011. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/10/16/501364/main20121115.shtml. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 
  13. ^ "Occupy London Stock Exchange camp 'organised and good natured'". The Guardian. 17 October 2011. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/oct/17/occupy-london-stock-exchange-camp. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  14. ^ "'Occupy' protests: Campaigners greet return of city workers". The Daily Telegraph. 17 October 2011. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/telegraphtv/8831063/Occupy-protests-Campaigners-greet-return-of-city-workers.html. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  15. ^ "After the demos, the sit-in begins – in London and beyond". The Independent. 17 October 2011. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/after-the-demos-the-sitin-begins-ndash-in-london-and-beyond-2371589.html. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  16. ^ "Occupy London: Demo forces St Paul's Cathedral to close". BBC News. 21 October 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-15406865. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  17. ^ "St Paul's Cathedral announces closure due to 'Occupy' protesters". The Daily Telegraph. 21 October 2011. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/8841430/St-Pauls-Cathedral-announces-closure-due-to-Occupy-protesters.html. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  18. ^ "Occupy London Stock Exchange protesters asked to leave by cathedral officials". The Guardian. 21 October 2011. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/oct/21/occupy-london-protesters-asked-leave-cathedral?newsfeed=true. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  19. ^ "Occupy London Stock Exchange camp refuses to leave despite cathedral plea". The Guardian. 21 October 2011. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/oct/21/occupy-london-stock-exchange-cathedral-plea. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  20. ^ "Second Occupy London camp forms at Finsbury Square". The Guardian. 22 October 2011. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/oct/22/second-occupy-london-finsbury-square?newsfeed=true. Retrieved 22 October 2011. 
  21. ^ "Occupy London protesters set up second camp at Finsbury Square". Metro. 22 October 2011. http://www.metro.co.uk/news/879415-occupy-london-protesters-set-up-second-camp-at-finsbury-square. Retrieved 22 October 2011. 
  22. ^ "'Occupy London' start camp in Finsbury Square". BBC News. October 22, 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-15415296. Retrieved October 22, 2011. 
  23. ^ a b "St Paul's Cathedral to reopen on Friday despite Occupy London protest camp". The Telegraph. 26 October 2011. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/8851415/St-Pauls-Cathedral-to-reopen-on-Friday-despite-Occupy-London-protest-camp.html. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  24. ^ "St Paul's Cathedral set to reopen after Occupy London shuffles tents". The Guardian. 26 October 2011. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/oct/26/st-pauls-reopen-occupy-london. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  25. ^ Rainey, Sarah (27 October 2011). "Dr Giles Fraser resigns from St Paul's over 'violence in the name of the Church'". The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/8852681/Dr-Giles-Fraser-resigns-from-St-Pauls-over-violence-in-the-name-of-the-Church.html. Retrieved 27 October 2011. 
  26. ^ "Giles Fraser resignation: 'I couldn't face Dale Farm on the steps of St Paul's'". The Guardian. 27 October 2011. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/oct/27/giles-fraser-resignation-dale-farm. Retrieved 28 October 2011. 
  27. ^ "St Paul's Dean Graeme Knowles resigns over protests". BBC News. 31 October 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-15524483. 
  28. ^ http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/nov/03/canary-wharf-occupy-london-injunctions
  29. ^ "Occupy London Stock Exchange – the initial statement". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/17/occupy-london-stock-exchange-occupylsx. Retrieved 28 October 2011. 
  30. ^ "Un-occupy the City: Nine out of ten tents remain empty overnight at St Paul's protest camp". Daily Mail. 25 October 2011. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2053068/Occupy-London-9-10-tents-remain-overnight-St-Pauls-camp.html. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  31. ^ a b Jones, Sam (26 Oct 2011). "Occupy London activists deny claims that few tents are occupied at night". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/oct/25/occupy-london-tents-night?newsfeed=true. 
  32. ^ Ford Rojas, John-Paul (25 Oct 2011). "Telegraph 'evicted' from St Paul's Occupy London camp as the mood turns". The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/8847357/Telegraph-evicted-from-St-Pauls-Occupy-London-camp-as-the-mood-turns.html. 
  33. ^ "The tents are empty for a reason, says protester". BBC News. 25 October 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15450234. 
  34. ^ "Part-Time London Tent Protesters Revealed". Sky News. 25 October 2011. http://news.sky.com/home/uk-news/article/16095687. Retrieved 28 October 2011. 
  35. ^ "The thermal images that prove 90% of tents in the Occupy camp in London are left EMPTY overnight". Daily Mail. 26 October 2011. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2053463/Occupy-London-90-tents-St-Pauls-protest-camp-left-overnight.html?ito=feeds-newsxml. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  36. ^ "Telegraph thermal imaging video at protest camp show most tents are empty". The Daily Telegraph. 25 October 2011. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/8847526/Telegraph-thermal-imaging-video-at-protest-camp-show-most-tents-are-empty.html. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  37. ^ Kingsley, Patrick (25 October 2011). "Is Occupy London a part-time protest?". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/oct/25/occupy-london-part-time-protest. Retrieved 28 October 2011. 
  38. ^ "Occupy London: Thermal imaging camera can't 'see' protesters inside tents". The Guardian. 28 October 2011. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/video/2011/oct/28/occupy-london-protest. Retrieved 04 November 2011. 
  39. ^ "Occupy London protesters hit back at 'empty tents' claim with own video footage". The Mirror. 28 October 2011. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/10/28/no-headline-115875-23521997/. Retrieved 04 November 2011. 
  40. ^ "Occupy London lodges PCC complaint over claims tents are empty at night". The Guardian. 28 October 2011. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/oct/28/occupy-london-complaint-pcc-tents-empty. Retrieved 04 November 2011. 
  41. ^ "Occupy London: Thermal Images 'Reveal Camp Empties At Night'". The Huffington Post UK. 25 October 2011. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2011/10/25/occupy-london-thermal-ima_n_1029910.html. Retrieved 28 October 2011. 
  42. ^ "Occupy London empty tent claims based on 'rubbish science'". The Guardian. 26 October 2011. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/oct/26/occupy-london-tents-rubbish-science. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  43. ^ http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/nov/11/edl-arrests-london-occupy-armistice-day?newsfeed=true

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