One of our occupants, David Horsefield, has been missing since the protest on Wednesday 9 November. He is a father and a husband, and his family and friends have contacted us to make an effort in finding him. If you have seen him since Wednesday, or have any information whatsoever, please contact Maria on 07958132527.
Robson Cezar and his art, made from 2,200 bottle tops (photos by Lydia Stott)
Everyone is an Artist at Finsbury Square
Today’s art exhibition curated by Robson Cezar (pictured above) was a great success. Robson and his art have become a staple of OccupyLFS and today there was performance art, banner making, a Mad Hatter’s ‘Occupy Wonderland’ Tea Party (pictured below) in addition to Robson’s own infamous ‘bottle top art’.
Meeting with Islington Council
Today also saw our second meeting with the Islington Council. The meeting was very constructive and many points were covered. It is anticipated that issues raised by the Council relating to fire safety, on-site health, waste and energy management will be resolved within the next few days.
Our next meeting with the Council will be in one week’s time.
All detainees being bailed have now been released. 2 reprimanded will be at Westminster Magistrates Court tomorrow. The support teams are now heading back to Finsbury Square. Get those brilliant people a cup of tea going! They deserve it! No one left behind.
1 more released
2 are being reprimanded and will be at Westminster Magistrates Court tomorrow morning
1 more to be released between now and 8pm.
4 still being held at Catford, and must be released by 4.30pm today.
2 protesters were refused bail last night and have appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court this morning. One was sent back to Liverpool.
No news on those held at Kilburn.
Do you have news? Please tweet to OccupyLFS or email email@example.com
The 5th of those arrested at last nights, sadly shortlived Occupy Trafalgar Square, has just been released from Catford Police station, 333 Bromley Road, SE6 2RJ. All have been charged under the Public Order Act, Section 12.
The rest of the 12 remain in cells. Please go show your support for the remaining detainees.
Following a meeting with Islington Council we have received an informal letter dated Friday 4 November.
The letter says that the Council recognises the right to protest, but that we are considered to be trespassing. It continues to say that the camp is “affecting the normal operation of local businesses and residents” though it accepts that we are working to minimise any negative impact in this regard.
We are glad that the Council are not undertaking legal proceedings against the camp as we agree that the money required for such action would be better used “to provide essential services to [Islington's] most vulnerable residents”.
We recognise that Islington is one of the most deprived boroughs in Britain and, along with Councils across the country, faces huge cuts in government funding. We believe the activities of the richest 1% during such a time of heavily imposed government austerity are an afront and an insult to social and economic justice.
We see part of our activity here in Islington as enriching the community we have now joined and consider the occupation of Finsbury Square as a positive contribution towards public education; providing an open platform for debate and a forum for the people of Islington and the general public to discuss the issues that concern them. We have had overwhelming support from those that have engaged us in discussion and look forward to extending and improving this conversation.
The letter makes several recommendations regarding health, safety and fire risks onsite. All the recommendations been taken on board and the majority will be dealt with within the next two to three days, if they are not in place already. We are also in contact with Environmental and Health Officers (EHO) in regards to these issues.
We are pleased that there is an ongoing constructive dialogue between us and the Council and look forward to our next meeting with them this coming Friday.
Council visit this morning
Islington Council are visiting once a day at the Finsbury Square site and continue to be satisfied with how the site is being run. There has been no change in their message; there are no plans for any formal proceedings at the moment. There will be a meeting tomorrow between the camp and the Council tomorrow at 2pm, we will update on this tomorrow.
Finsbury Square Bistro
A working group has been established to talk with the Bistro in Finsbury Square. The group are working with the owners to make the site work for us all, promote the continued running of the Bistro, and spot opportunities which benefit both them and the Occupation. The group will update the GA (General Assembly) with progress and any resulting proposals, for consensus.
One of the men who is staying at the camp and is currently homeless, has set up a bike repair shop at the front of Finsbury Square. He will be repairing bikes for a donation.
St Luke’s Community Centre
Today, representatives from St Luke’s came to site to speak with us about TimeBank. This is a means of capturing and sharing the valuable talents, skills and capabilities within the community. A proposal went to the GA this evening, for Occupy LFS to register as a member organization to the St Luke’s community time bank. Through this, Occupy LFS would gain access to the community centre’s facilities and the resources of the time bank, in exchange for offering services out to the local community.
- A proposal to establish a support and mediation group was approved
- A proposal to establish an art working group was approved
- A proposal to set up an Occupation Outreach website was declined, the proposer was directed to existing groups to discuss the idea further
Message of support from the Lowestoft L43 branch of GMB:
To the Occupiers at St Paul’s and Finsbury Square,
At our branch meeting on 2nd November 2011 the Lowestoft L43 branch of
GMB resolved to send a message of support to all of you.
We admire your lead in this time of hardship, oppression and division and we
believe that the whole Trade Union movement should be behind you. If any
actions / demonstrations are planned, we hope that we can add our numbers
We are grateful that you are struggling on our behalf and showing us
possibilities for democratic action and decision-making.
With solidarity and all best wishes,
Lowestoft L43 Branch
Three representatives from Islington Council inspected the site today and informed us verbally that though we are trespassing on Council land there is currently no intention on behalf of the Council to begin formal proceedings to evict the camp.
We were informed however, that by Monday at the latest, we will be receiving an informal letter which “is currently being drafted”. The letter will include recommendations relating to Health and Safety and other issues that are commonplace for encampments such as ours.
At our General Assembly yesterday it was agreed that:
• The Housing working group would reorganise the square in order to free up more space, as currently we are fully occupied.
• The Nightwatch working group have authority and discretion during nights to ensure safety.
• The Media working group would arrange for a Projector to be supplied.
• The Waste, University and Media working groups all asked for volunteers.
• A discussion was had about moving the camp to more renewable energy sources.
• The general assembly at 11am would be primarily logistics. The 7pm general assembly would update on consensus from the 11am session to allow for input and dissent, but primarily focus on political debate.
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This morning Islington Council requested that we leave Finsbury Square. They will be issuing a formal letter to this effect. They have not taken any legal action at this stage.
CORRECTION: No formal letter is planned at the moment.
Parts of the media are focusing on an fictional idea of the Occupy London protesters as “part-time” protesters as if that was even a bad thing. One of the pieces of evidence they are using is so called infra-red pictures supposedly showing only one tent occupied (taken at 11.30pm). They neglect to say that most of the protesters are in the bigger tents like kitchen and info. Debates often go into the small hours and a lot of people aren’t in their tents until 3am. Also it takes a few hours to warm up the air inside the tent to make it appear on the infra-red cameras. The website below debunks many of the lies put forward by the media about these ”infra-red” pictures.