“We’ll stay as long as it takes” – say Finsbury Square protesters

Anti-capitalist demonstrators who came to Finsbury at the weekend have said they will stay as long as it takes to get action on the world economy.

The Occupy movement, which has been active in 2,000 city’s across the globe, came to Finsbury Square on Saturday night when a similar protest outside St Paul’s Cathedral expanded.

Now, around 200 people in more than 100 tents are stationed there and organisers say they will stay as long as necessary.

Mike, a tree surgeon who has been helping to co-oordinate the occupation, said: “People are willing and able to stay for as long as it takes. They are here from all walks of life, from hardcore socialists to people who can’t get work and want to feed their families. I have never seen such a cross section of people at a protest.

“You can’t put all our aims into a neat sound bite – people are here for so many different reasons – but if we manage to get a cohesive message together as a result of this meeting, that would be great.”

A kitchen and first aid tent have sprung up on the site, along with organised activities such as Kung Fu sessions and a book club.

Some protesters have been camping overnight, shaving in a bowl and heading out to work in the morning.

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A 40-year-old community worker from Surrey, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “This camp is an example of how a society could run as a democracy, everyone is pitching in and doing their share. I came because I believe many problems in the world are caused by inequalities of economics and political power and we must address that. People have to stand together.”

Nick Grant, 29, who came from Manchester to join the occupation, said: “I have been unemployed for a year and it has been a real struggle trying to find a job. When I saw the protest I knew I have to come and support it.

“There is a big problem with our economic system at the moment, and its the fault of the government and the banks.”

A 63-year-old former teacher, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “We came from Surrey to show the older generation also care. The game hasn’t changed – these are the same inequalities from when I was young.”

However the occupation has caused problems for some of the shops and cafes in the area.

One local business owner said: “Of course it has affected trade. These people think they are targeting big business, but they hurt small businesses too.