After seven months residence in Finsbury Square, Occupy London protestors were evicted by bailiffs last night. The 1am clear-out passed without incident in what Islington Council describes as a “peaceful and low-key” operation.
The council had obtained a possession order on 1 June to reclaim the public space from the encampment of 130 tents. It estimates that the occupation cost the taxpayer £20,000 in damaged land, £26,000 in security and £12,000 in lost rent from restaurants that had to close.
Having previously occupied the area in front of St Paul’s and Paternoster Square, as well as a number of smaller properties, Occupy London no longer has a single guy-rope within the financial centre. A brief and evidently fruitless occupation of part of Hampstead Heath also ended yesterday, when the police removed the unhappy campers within 24 hours.
Now without any major occupations in London, will the movement wither away in our city, or come back all the stronger in time for the global attention the Olympics will bring? You can follow developments on Occupy London’s web site.
Whether you agree or not with the protestors, Occupy London has certainly made its mark on the news agenda over the past year. Ed Thompson is trying to crowdfund a photographic account of the protests, to be donated to 50 libraries. If you’d like to see such a book published, support him here.
Images by BethPH.