Police and bailiffs are dismantling Occupy London's campsite outside St. Paul's Cathedral, clearing one of the longest-surviving encampments inspired by the New York protest against capitalist excess.

The protesters said vans loaded with police arrived at the site late Monday.

The local authority, the City of London Corporation, confirmed the eviction was under way and asked the protesters to move on peacefully.

Civic authorities have an eviction order allowing them to remove the activists' tents, though not the protesters themselves.

There appeared to be several dozen protesters at the site, down from hundreds at the height of the camp.

Last week a court rejected a challenge to the order, ruling that the right to protest did not justify a semi-permanent camp on a public pathway.

Protesters against capitalist excess inspired by New York's Occupy Wall Street movement have been camped outside the 300-year-old church since October.


(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)