Protestors in Parliament Square have been ordered by Westminster Council to dismantle their campsite by 5pm on 21st January or face legal action for blocking the public highway.
Officials at the council say “around 30 people” camping on the pavements around the square have been served notice to clear away tents and placards.
The notices, delivered by council staff who were accompanied by Met Police officers, says the council “has become increasingly concerned about the number and size of the structures which have been deposited on the public footway in Parliament Square, particularly since the Mayor of London obtained an injunction in the High Court authorising removal of the ‘Democracy Village’.”
“The structures in question include all tents, box structures and placards which have been placed and erected and are being maintained on the public footway in Parliament Square.
“Although the council recognises all individuals’ right to protest peacefully, it is considered that the extent and manner of the protest has a disproportionate effect on amenity and the rights of the public to the use and enjoyment of the public highway.”
Westminster Council leader Cllr Colin Barrow said the authority has “nothing against peaceful protest” but was under “a duty to ensure that our pavements and walkways are free for all people to use”
Cllr Barrow added: “Today’s action is the first step in a process that we hope will end the ludicrous and unacceptable situation around the square.”