Essex

Occupy Southend protesters opt to leave churchyard camp

Tents in St Mary the Virgin church in Prittlewell
Image caption About 12 tents have been pitched in the grounds since Sunday

Protesters who set up an Occupy camp in an Essex churchyard have voted to leave and move to another "secret" location.

Members of Occupy Southend pitched tents without permission in the grounds of St Mary the Virgin church in Prittlewell, last Sunday.

Opposition from village residents, the Diocese of Chelmsford and members of the church forced them to reconsider.

They have voted to end the occupation, described as "disrespectful and inappropriate" by the parish priest.

The Reverend Shaun Conlon had threatened the group with legal action in a letter, which the group discussed before voting to leave.

A spokesman would not reveal where they planned to go but they are expected to dismantle the camp in the next few days.

It had set up the camp as part of a global movement to raise awareness of concerns about capitalism and unfairness in society.

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