Police officers evict the final ‘Occupy’ protesters from Finsbury Square
A sea of debris and rubbish in the vacated Finsbury Square site
Published: 15 June, 2012
by PETER GRUNER
THE occupation of Finsbury Square ended after eight months early yesterday (Thursday) morning when the remaining 30 campers were evicted by bailiffs.
Islington Council secured the site with large iron-grille fences and all that remained of the camp was a sea of debris and rubbish.
The eviction of the occupation – and overspill from previous St Paul’s camp – was “peaceful and low-key” according to the council.
But the cost of removing debris and securing the site is expected to be close to £60,000.
The Met Police stood by to support the bailiffs after the council was granted a possession order and an injunction.
The council said its team helped 48 homeless and vulnerable people in the month leading up to and during the eviction.
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.”
He added: “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.”
Protesters at the Occupy site in Finsbury Square had set up the camp in October.
Earlier, at the High Court, Mr Justice Hickinbottom was told the Finsbury Square camp had caused £20,000 of damage to the land and the council had spent £26,000 on security.
The council said it also lost £12,000 in rent and income after restaurants in the public square closed.
The judge refused permission for the group to appeal although they could have taken their case directly to the Court of Appeal.
A number of local businesses had complained about the camp.
Finsbury Square became the focus for those supporting the Occupy London movement when the protest outside St Paul’s Cathedral ended in February.