A London authority won its court bid
to evict protesters against global financial inequality from the
Finsbury Square camp, one of the last remaining in the city.
The Occupy protesters must leave the land situated on the
fringes of the City of London, a U.K. judge ruled today. Ranjit
Bhose, a lawyer for the borough of Islington, said that forced
eviction would not happen during the June 4-5 public holiday.
“The balance is overwhelmingly in favor of the council”
after giving “all due weight to the human rights of the
defendants,” Judge Gary Hickinbottom said. “I am not satisfied
that the defendants have any substantive grounds to defend the
The Occupy Movement began in New York in September, when
protesters took up residence in a park to highlight Americans
who suffered as banks recovered from the 2008 financial crisis.
The movement spread to cities around the world. Occupy London
protesters have cost the City of London and its police authority
more than 1.1 million pounds in legal and monitoring costs,
according to information obtained in a Freedom of Information
request from Bloomberg.
“This is not a political ideal, it is an on-the-ground
matter,” Edwina Mayne, one of the protesters, said in court
earlier in the day. “This is life and limb. This is no longer
predominately a political camp.”
The protesters, who were not represented by lawyers in
court, said that of the 99 occupants of Finsbury Square, 88 are
homeless. Another protester, who identified herself as Miss
Hall, told the court the group may consider taking their case to
the European Court of Human Rights.
The Islington authority served the protesters on May 11
with a legal notice of eviction from the site, an overspill of
the original camp at St Paul’s Cathedral, giving them until May
18 to clear the square of tents and other temporary structures.
Protesters said that they are considering appealing.
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