Open letter to City of London Corporation and St Paul's Cathedral
Below is an open letter from Occupy London to the City of London Corporation, the Bishop of London and the Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral regarding the upcoming potential eviction of the OccupyLSX occupation. If you would like to add your name to this letter, please sign below. You may also like to add your signature to the Trade union pledge in support of Occupy London and the Christian ring of prayer petition and the Defend the Occupy London movement petition.
Stuart Fraser, Outgoing Policy Chair, City of London Corporation
The Right Rev Richard Chartres, Bishop of London
The Right Reverend Michael Colclough, on behalf of the Chapter of St Paul's
On 13 Feburary, Occupy London Stock Exchange's applications for appeal will be heard. Should we be denied by the Court of Appeal, we understand that the City of London Corporation will seek to enforce the posession order granted by the High Court last month and evict the camp.
In the event of any eviction, Occupy London is committed to remaining non violent as it has always been. We call on the City of London Corporation, the Bishop of London - who has been assisting the Chapter of St Paul's since the resignation of the Dean - and the Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral to do the same and to ensure that appropriate steps are taken to safeguard vulnerable resident occupiers.
At a recent meeting occupiers raised concerns about the possibility of a night-time eviction and sought assurances that any action would take place during daylight hours, so as to avoid unnecessary distress, chaos and panic. We were disappointed that the City of London Corporation representatives in that meeting were unable to offer us any reassurance.
Many people now residing at OccupyLSX are vulnerable in some way. A substantial section of this community face losing their homes. A night-time eviction would compound an already stressful situation and make it harder for fellow occupiers and professionals to offer vital support.
Assaults by bailiffs at Occupy London's the Bank of Idea's eviction
Early on Monday 31 January, Rossendales High Court Enforcement, acting on behalf of Sun Street Properties, a wholly-owned subsidairy of the Swiss investment bank UBS, evicted the Bank of Ideas in the presence of the Metropolitan and City of London Police. Photographic and film evidence has emerged of bailiffs - without identification - appearing to assault journalists and an attempt to run over protesters using a motor vehicle. Despite a man being arrested after the event, police did not make any attempt to intervene at the scene.
The Bank of Ideas eviction violated standards set down for the behaviour of bailiffs and enforcement agents by the Ministry for Justice. National Standards for Enforcement Agents (January 2012) sets in place clear guidelines that offer a level of protection to vulnerable individuals and seek to prevent violent confrontation. These standards, which the Ministry of Justice have said they would like to become law "as soon as possible," set out recommended hours of operation for the industry between 6am and 9pm and specify protocols for dealing with the vulnerable.
As a local authority, the City of London Corporation will be aware of its obligation to reduce the risk of harm to vulnerable adults and will no doubt be making a formal risk assessment before considering any action. As part of these assessements, OccupyLSX is seeking a commitment from the City of London Corporation that they, and any enforcement agents acting on their behalf, will fully comply with the National Standards for Enforcement Agents and commit in writing to not authorising any eviction outside of the recommended hours.
We look forward to your full consideration of this matter and await your prompt reply.
If you would like to add your name to this letter, please sign below.