A London council asked a court to evict protesters against global financial inequality from a park on the fringes of the City of London.
Judge Gary Hickinbottom gave the Occupy London protesters a week to find a lawyer and put together a defense.
“I am not convinced that as matters currently stand that the defendants are able to overcome the modest first hurdle, that which they have to clear, to substantially defend the application,” said Hickinbottom.
The Occupy Movement began in September, when protesters took up residence in New York’s Zuccotti Park to highlight the plight of Americans who suffered even as the largest U.S. banks recovered from the 2008 financial crisis. Occupy London protesters have cost the City of London and its police authority more than 1.1 million pounds in legal and monitoring costs, according to information obtained in a Freedom of Information request from Bloomberg.
Islington Borough council on May 11 served the protesters with a legal notice of eviction from the site, an overspill of the original camp at St Paul’s Cathedral, giving them until May 18 to clear the square of tents and other temporary structures.
“We have a first world environment that has a third world camp in it,” said Edwina Mayne, one of a number of people who spoke on behalf of the protesters. “The possession order is disproportionate and too quick.”
Chris Roe, a spokesman for Islington council declined to immediately comment.
The London council estimated the damage to trees, pathways and flower beds at the square at 20,000 pounds ($32,100), according to the eviction notice.
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