THE ANTI-CAPITALIST protesters occupying parts of the City faced growing pressure to leave last night after it emerged that the vast majority of their tents were empty on Monday evening.
Those with tents outside St Paul’s Cathedral also face a formal call to leave by the Bishop of London.
The bishop, Richard Chartre, expressed support for their aims but said: “The time has come for the protestors to leave, before the camp’s presence threatens to eclipse entirely the issues that it was set up to address.”
The protest is reportedly costing the cathedral £16,000 per day in lost revenues, but its officials claim that it has been shut for “health and safety” rather than commercial reasons.
Thermal images of the camp taken late on Monday suggested that only a handful of tents had people inside them, a claim the group vigorously deny.
“The ‘nine out of ten tents are empty’ statistic is completely unfounded,” the group, OccupyLSX, said last night. “This is simply not the case. We try to keep vacancy to a minimum.”
The protesters also complained of aggressive press tactics, saying that the thermal imaging breached their “right to privacy” and that they are “ordinary people with jobs and families”.
Some of the protesters moved from St Paul’s to Finsbury Circus recently in order to free up space around the cathedral.