After being evicted from outside St Paul’s Cathedral, Occupy London got busy doing their thing in Finsbury Square.

Their thing, as far as I could tell from the top deck of a bus every day, seemed to be sitting around in tents waiting for the rain to stop – but hey! What do I know about starting a revolution?

Anyway, a few days ago they all got kicked off Finsbury Square, leaving the naysayers with no doubt as to the lasting legacy of their cause.

[Excuse the photo quality, I’m working with a Nokia N95 here. Long story.]

Finsbury Square after the Occupy tents moved out

Here’s the thing.

It’s all well and good protesting about “the perceived excesses of the global financial system”, but if by doing so you cock up a perfectly good public space –  something that the evil corporation you’re railing against has provided for everyone to enjoy – then what are you actually achieving?

That churned up sea of cardboard, tents and sodden belongings you see above will cost the other system (the one the rest of us pay a large chunk of our salaries to support) however many thousand pounds to clear up afterwards – so how much public favour are you really going to win in the long run?

Earlier this week the Occupy Nomad group tried to move onto Hampstead Heath, without much luck, while the dregs of other camps moved onto a corner of Shoreditch Park.

This comment (and others below it) summed up my thoughts on the whole thing.

Comment on the Occupy blog

If this is about raising awareness and recruiting people to join your cause, then Occupy, in my humble opinion: you’re doing it wrong.

6 Comments

  1. HehatesLondon

    Doesn’t look entirely dissimilar to the aftermath of a football celebration, gay pride, the visit of the pope.. shall I go on? Oh and they don’t just sit in the tents waiting for the rain to stop, they actually have loads of workshops and debates but how would you know if you only peer at them from the top of a bus? Stop being so judgmental about things you know jackshit about or educate yourself first. For someone who claims to love London so much you seem to have very little of the city’s permissive attitude and a lot of the Daily Mail hate of your average home county commuter.

    • sheloveslondon

      Hi HehatesLondon (nice name), the point of this blog is not to field an in depth discussion of the political ins and outs of your cause. Read the “About” section if you’re in any doubt as to this blog’s nature. I see what I see and blog about it.

      The point is to comment on what the average Londoner perceives as a passer by. It’s what I and many others see from the top deck of the bus, and what an average (non DM reading, I hasten to add) passer by gleams. This isn’t a lone view in a sea of pro-Occupy support, the tone of your comment implies that much. I’m asking questions in my post, and this is your chance to answer them. But as it stands, your comment is just as judgmental as mine.

  2. I have also encountered this phenom

  3. I have also encountered this phenomenon.

    We had a Nomad camp in Mile End, with two lights, powered by a generator, and replenished via solar panels. 
    We were being accused of destroying the environment by burning wood. Our carbon footprint was lower than anyone else. Granted that we probably burnt too much, but what do you do when it gets cold and you only have a tent as shelter?

    Then I asked how the local conservation group could take funding from the banks like Barclays and RBS. Called Greenwashing by environmentalists.

    Basically so long as their back yard is kept pristine, they do not care what happens to the rest of the world. Judging from your blog post, you feel the same.

    Interesting that the Rich Greeks are buying property in London to escape the riots in their homeland. Believing that it would save them.

     

    • sheloveslondon

      Thanks for the comment Rakehell_Obi, I take your point. I suppose I’m just saying what I see – perhaps this is down to me not really knowing enough about your cause, but at the same time, if all me (and a lot of other Londoners I’ve talked to) are seeing is a heap of mess and bad press in your wake – maybe the answer is to look at a way to change the public opinion.

      • How would your neighbourhood have looked after being demolished by Sherforce Bailiffs? This was a tent village of 120 people. At the end, it had 50 tents.

         Perhaps we should have made more of an effort in publicising what we have done in Finsbury Sq.

        Occupy Finsbury Sq., apart from being a protest camp and emerging eco-village, ended up taking care of the homeless.

        The denizens had an average of 60 people at the start, till the evictions of the other sites and OccupyLSX pushed the numbers to 120 – 200 people in that small square. The ones who could find alternate accommodation left, but many stayed. Alongside our Welfare groups.

        Islington Council claims that we have cost the taxpayer something in the region of 50,000 to 100,000 in the seven month existence.

        What would have been the cost of housing 120 people, instead of being in a small camp village? Finsbury camp had a budget of £400 per week. I would think that would be the average for one homeless person in a hostel.

        Conservative figures could be £200 per week, per person in a hostel.

        The Council would have had to spend £24,000 per week for all those people. or Occupy London housed, fed and created a disfunctional community for £400 per week.

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