Canary Wharf moves to ban anti-capitalist protesters on estate

Canary Wharf has won a High Court injunction to prevent anti-capitalist demonstrators creating a camp similar to that at St Paul’s on the estate.

Estate owners Canary Wharf Group (CWG) secured an order on Tuesday to keep out protesters amid rumours that the financial district was being considered as a demo site.

CWG feared a protest camp, such as that currently at St Paul’s Cathedral in central London, being set up and disrupting its 95,000 workers.

But an east London activist, who held a peaceful protest at Canary Wharf on Monday, today said the move was a “gross over-reaction”.

The order prevents “people coming onto the estate and staying without permission in connection to protest action”.

The ban is indefinite and covers the whole of the 97-acre estate.

Chris Knight, a former University of East London lecturer, brought an anti-capitalist street theatre group called The Government of the Dead to sing and dance in Reuters Plaza on Monday in Halloween costumes.

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He is keeping a tent at the St Paul’s camp, set up by the Occupy London movement.

He said: “We will take action whether we like. It’s a free country.

“At St Paul’s attempts to evict us from the steps and from Finsbury Square have ended in farce so the same would apply for Canary Wharf.”

A CWG spokesman said: “There’s a number of different sources showing that consideration has been given to Canary Wharf becoming another camp and we felt we should take these steps.

“This is not about stifling debate.

“The fact is we had two peaceful protests here at which people protested and left. “It is private property and we’re in a position to stop disruption.”