Britain's High Court has ruled in favour of evicting the Occupy protesters who have been camped outside London's St Paul's Cathedral since late October. But the fight is far from over, vow activists. They have just seven days to challenge this decision and secure an appeal.
The news was greeted with dismay among many of the former clergy of St Paul's, including by Dr Giles Fraser, who resigned as canon chancellor in protest at the church authorities' handling of the case. "This judgment is disappointing," he told the Guardian. "In a world where there is such a gap between rich and poor, the voice of protest needs continually to be heard. The church must not be seen to side with the 1% rather than the 99%."
However, the Occupy London legal team have described the judgment as an "important" opportunity. According to one of their defence lawyers, QC John Cooper: "it marks the start of a legal analysis as to the extent of protest in this country. What Occupy have done is push the boundaries of public law on protest."
They are now planning to challenge whether the actions taken by the Corporation of London have been "proportionate" to the disruption the tented protest has caused.
Evicted or not, Britain's commentariat now concedes that the protest has had a profound impact. "Even if the camp leaves the churchyard, others are likely to crop up elsewhere," writes James Macintyre in Prospect. "This is a new type of protest whose power is in the range of those it attracts ... the strength of feeling is as hard to sweep aside as the tents themselves."
Polls consistently show that, regardless of whether or not they agree with the protest outside St Paul's, more of the British public supports the aims of the protesters than opposes them.
As Tammy Samede, the principal named defendant in the Occupy London's court case, put it after the ruling: "This is not the end. Onwards and upwards for Occupy."
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Watch: A concise explainer of the Occupy movement's mysterious hand signals used during group debates.