London 2012: Six arrested as protesters removed from Leyton Marshes

15:05 10 April 2012

Several protesters were arrested today following their eviction from the site where an Olympic basketball facility will be constructed.

Demonstrators had been camped out on Leyton Marshes to prevent construction of the temporary venue, but last week the High Court granted a possession order allowing their removal.

Bailiffs went onto the site this morning and evicted a number of people, and the Met Police was forced to arrest six people in connection with failing to comply with section 14 of the Public Order Act.

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) said it regretted having to involve the courts and the police in the removal of the protesters.

The six people remain in custody.

A spokeswoman for the police said: “The police action was in connection with people lying in front of, climbing over and in front of a delivery lorry.

“When a number of people didn’t move after police asked them to, they were arrested.”

Leyton Marshes is used by hundreds of Hackney residents as a recreational facility.

An ODA spokesman said: “We regret that we have had to involve the courts and police to enable us to complete the building of a temporary training venue for which we have secured planning permission.

“Our concern has always been unlawful disruptive action preventing our contractors getting vehicles on to the site, and working, not peaceful and lawful opposition to our plans.

“These setbacks have incurred extra costs to the taxpayer. We are legally obliged to remove the venue shortly after the Paralympic Games this summer and return the ground to its previous state.

“We confirm that we will do this by October 15 2012.

“Local people will still be able to walk on the vast majority of the Leyton Marshes and the immediate Porter’s Field area throughout the summer, and, after the temporary structure is dismantled, they will benefit from £65,000 of improvements to the area and its wildlife habitats, funded by the ODA.”

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