Deadline passes and Norwich’s Occupy protesters refuse to budge

Protesters who have set up tents on Norwich's Hay Hill have vowed to stay on, despite being told to move or risk legal action.

Norwich City Council enforcement officers served a notice on a single protester on Wednesday, telling him the council would no longer tolerate the occupation of the city centre spot and to remove the structures and tents and vacate the land by 5pm today.

The Occupy Norwich protesters have been in Hay Hill since October as part of the same protest which saw campaigners camped outside St Paul's Cathedral in London.

The group pitched tents on the square, close to McDonald's and Next, and put up posters and placards protesting against bankers, capitalism and unfairness.

The protesters were still on site at 5pm today and one of them, who called himself Mobile Dave, said they had no intention of leaving and would resist any attempt to move them on.

He said: 'The notice the council issued was illegal because there was no address on it or a post code, and we are on public land. The only thing the council owns on this site is the lights and the sculpture.

'We will stay as long as the public wants us to stay. We are trying to make the world a better place, but cannot do that because the council is not helping. If they offered us another place to go and carry on the protest, then we might go.

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'We will resist any attempt to move us off. Whether that would be physical resistance depends on what we decide.'

A Norwich City Council spokesman said it would ask solicitors on Monday morning to take action on its behalf to regain possession of the site.

The spokesman added: 'Separately, we are doing everything we can to help them find an alternative way of their protest continuing and are waiting for them to let us know if they want to take up any of the options we have discussed.'

The notice issued to the protesters states that the city council owns the land which they have been occupying and, because they do not have permission to be there, they are trespassing.

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