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London protesters defiant in face of legal action


10:59, November 18, 2011

Protestors wearing defiant masks from the movie "V for Vendetta" give victory signs at the camping area outside the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain, Nov. 17, 2011. (Xinhua/Bimal Gautam)

LONDON, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- The legal deadline for anti-capitalist protesters outside St Paul's Cathedral to quit their tented camp passed at 6 p.m. Thursday with no sign of the demonstrators leaving.

The protesters, who set up camp on Oct. 15 outside St Paul's Cathedral in central London, now face legal action through the High Court to move them from land they are camped on which is owned by the local municipal authority, the City of London Corporation (CLC).

Part of the land where the camp is in St Paul's Cathedral Churchyard is owned by the cathedral, which confirmed Thursday it would not be taking any legal action.

A spokeswoman for St Paul's said, "We recognize the local authority's statutory right to proceed with the action it has today. We have always desired a peaceful resolution and the canons will continue to hold regular meetings with representatives of the protesters. We remain committed to continuing and developing the agenda on some of the important issues raised by the protest."

The CLC had originally planned to serve eviction notices on the protesters a fortnight ago but halted its legal process after the cathedral decided not to go ahead with legal action.

The protesters had intended to occupy the London Stock Exchange, which is next door to St Paul's Cathedral, but were blocked by police and occupied the churchyard and part of a neighboring footpath instead.

The protesters were defiant on Thursday evening about the CLC legal move to get them evicted.

Naomi Colvin, a spokeswoman for the protesters, said, "It is not something we need to be remotely worried about -- we've been prepared for it for months. If they want to get an order in the High Court, it could take months. We will contest it. We will be speaking to our legal team and we will be fighting it."

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