Eviction under way of Occupy London protesters from Finsbury Square
Thursday 14 June 2012
An eviction is under way to move Occupy London protesters from their seven-month occupation of a square in the capital.
The clear out of Finsbury Square in north London was organised by Islington Council after successful court action by the authority to move the group.
The camp, which is made up of around 135 tents and a wooden structure, was set up on the public land of the square in October, as an extension of the Occupy movement's protest in St Paul's Churchyard - which ended in eviction in February.
Today, Metropolitan Police confirmed they were present at the scene which is being cleared by a private security company.
Two weeks ago a judge heard the protest had caused £20,000 damage to the land, cost the council £26,000 on security, and lost it £12,000 in rent plus income from the square's restaurant which had to close.
There had been an adverse impact on local business and complaints about anti-social behaviour from the camp, which increasingly became a focus for the homeless, and which had no running water or sufficient toilet facilities.
Councillor Paul Convery, Islington Council's executive member for community safety, said: "Finsbury Square is public space for the people of Islington, one of Britain's most deprived boroughs.
"We're returning the square to community use, and it is being cleaned and will soon be reopened to the public for the summer.
"Today's enforcement action was peaceful and low-key, and I'd like to thank the police, our street outreach team, and other partner organisations for their help.
"A number of vulnerable and homeless people have been living in the square. We have been speaking to them and offering advice and support to those who need assistance."
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