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Occupy London squatters evicted from Moorfields School site in Finsbury

PUBLISHED: 11:27 01 March 2012

The former site of Moorfields school

The former site of Moorfields school

Archant

Squatters at a former primary school were evicted before demolition crews moved in this week.

Dozens of people were removed from the Moorfields School site in Finsbury in the early hours of Tuesday.

There were claims many could not save their belongings – including laptops and clothes – before builders moved in at about 6am.

Squatter Chris Nelson, 24, said: “They carried out the demolition with lots of people’s possessions in there. There were 25 to 30 people living there and we lost a whole community centre’s worth of things.”

Conor Honan, 26, said: “It was very sudden. We just stepped outside at about midnight and there were police vans everywhere. There were about 70 officers.

“A lot of people are now homeless and some were not able to get their things, which are now under a big pile of rubble.”

Mr Honan said the squatters left the building, in Featherstone Street, peacefully. They were part of the Occupy London anti-capitalist movement and had been running a community centre there, known as the School of Ideas, for about two weeks.

They had been preparing to take in activists evicted from St Paul’s Cathedral on the same night.

Numbers at the nearby Finsbury Square camp swelled with people displaced from Moorfields and St Paul’s. Mr Honan said: “Finsbury Square can’t accommodate this many people in the long term so we will be looking for another site in London.”

A spokesman for Southern Housing Group, which owns Moorfields, said: “Planning approval was given for this work prior to the protesters occupying the site.”

Lib Dem opposition leader Cllr Terry Stacy called for activists to leave Finsbury Square. He said: “I am a great believer in the right to protest. But the Finsbury Square protest has cost the Islington taxpayer over £10,000 so far, and as one of the country’s poorest areas, we really do have better things to spend our money on.”

A spokesman for Islington Council said: “The protesters don’t have permission to be in Finsbury Square and we are closely monitoring the situation.

“We are reluctant to waste vital money on expensive legal action, but we have not ruled it out.”


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