They’ve been camping in the heart of the financial sector in London for six months, but have they achieved what they set out to?
London’s last remaining ‘Occupy’ camp seems almost forgotten. It’s been six long months that the self-proclaimed ‘anti-corporation protesters’ have occupied this patch of London and in the wake of the UK’s Occupy movement it was dubbed ‘the peaceful one’. With relations between Islington council relatively untroubled, it’s generally accepted that they have remained ‘the peaceful one’ for the duration.
Residents of this patch of London were initially mostly employed, articulate middle-class people resentful of the global financial structure and keen to show their dedication to its reform. Six months on, are the same resolute characters still living in the campsite, or have they gone back to work and left their message to sink in the mud?
One of the men sat in the ‘tech tent’ says: “There is tension right now about ‘what is Occupy’?” His face is covered entirely by a scarf; he is wearing a huge pair of colour-mirrored ski goggles and refuses to give his name. “We are a union of movements but now the people with the money within the movement have decided that they are the ones with the power.”
The unnamed gentleman continues to explain that the head donators to the occupy movement have become political and tensions are rising. “We are going forward,” he insists, “we are just rising from the ashes. Occupy is all about community and you have to be in the middle of it. Already we have proved what you can do, this is just the beginning.”
Chris, 21 from Portsmouth says: “We won’t be here for the Olympics, they will forcefully remove us well before then.”
This theme seems consistent with the other residents of Finsbury Square, everyone is so accepting of their pre-Olympics removal. Perhaps their confidence is diminishing at the same speed as their fame.
21-year-old ex-drama student Roxy explains the movement with great enthusiasm: “Occupy concerns everyone. People need to learn how to create an economically and environmentally sustainable community and live peacefully amongst each other. But people are so afraid of change. This camp is a cross-section of everyone from all walks of life. This right here is real life.”
Their enthusiasm about the movement may remain strong but their expectations of a future for the campsite have faded and their projection for their future is unclear. “I’m not sure what happens now,” explains Roxy, “We’ll just wait and see.” Their reactions have been much like their message: full of great intentions, but with a lack of sustenance and direction.