Occupy protesters in Finsbury Square prepare for eviction
Anti-capitalism protestors in Finsbury Square are building barricades as they prepare to fight an eviction.
Wooden fences sprung up this morning following the news that Islington Council had been granted an immediate possession order by the High Court on Friday to end the seven-month-long occupation of the site.
After hearing from both sides, Mr Justice Hickinbottom said the balance was “overwhelmingly in favour” of granting the order and said that the council had acted responsibly and fairly, bringing legal proceedings as a last resort.
The court order is likely to be enforced imminently, but the council face resistance to an eviction that could cost up to �100,000.
One protester said: “The people here will stay until the bitter end.”
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The development has been welcomed by many nearby traders who say the site is an eyesore.
Occupy Finsbury Square began in October as a spillover from the anti-capitalism protest at St Paul’s Cathedral.
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Around 100 people remain at the camp, and many are known to be homeless. One resident said: “They do not know where to go.”
Cllr Paul Convery, Islington Council’s executive member for community safety, said that the council will help all the vulnerable and homeless people in the square.
He continued: “The council has consistently supported the right to peaceful protest and we have tolerated Occupy’s presence at Finsbury Square.
“Many of the Occupy movement members have left the square, for which I thank them. We are now asking all others to please leave the site – the protest has moved on and there is no reason for anyone to be camped out in Finsbury Square.
“The council faces deep and ongoing cuts to its budget from central government, so if the protesters leave the site voluntarily even at this late stage they will help save Islington taxpayers from shelling out.
“There are a number of vulnerable and homeless people currently living in the square. The council aims to speak to each and every one of those people to offer them somewhere they can go.”