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British court evicts 'Occupy London' protesters

LONDON -- "Occupy London" protesters must leave their camp on the doorstep of St. Paul's Cathedral, a court ruled Wednesday.

British High Court Judge Keith Lindblom granted London authorities permission to evict the protesters, citing public health, safety and environmental concerns, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Speaking at London's Royal Courts of Justice, Lindblom said, "It is necessary and it is proportionate."

But he added, "No one has doubted, or could, the significance of the causes the defendants promote."

Eviction notices were served on anti-capitalist protesters in November after officials from the City of London Corporation, which runs the district that houses St. Paul's, said negotiations with the demonstrators had stalled.

Protesters ignored a deadline to leave and the authority began legal proceedings.

The "Occupy London" movement -- inspired by "Occupy Wall Street" -- set up camp at St. Paul's on Oct. 15 after failing to secure a spot in front of the nearby London Stock Exchange.

The 200-tent protest has caused divisions in the cathedral's hierarchy and led to the resignations of three members of its clergy.