Occupy London Move Into New Islington Site

12:54 16 February 2012

The former site of Moorfields school

The former site of Moorfields school


»Supporters of Occupy London moved into an empty school site in Finsbury last week.

Since the takeover at the former Moorfields School building in Featherstone Street, Finsbury, the owner of the site, Southern Housing Group, has been granted a possession order on health and safety grounds.

The protesters were set to appeal against the eviction in court today (Thursday).

The site was sold to the developers in 2009 and two applications to transform the land into residential housing blocks have been lodged despite opposition from local residents, who are unhappy with the design and are keen to keep it for community use.

Occupy supporter Pete Phoenix, one of 15 people sleeping at the site, said: “We’re here to reclaim for the public a community resource, at least until planning permission is granted.”

He disagrees with grounds for eviction and said: “There have been five caretakers living on the premises without any issue.”


The occupiers held an open day on Saturday attended by around 150 local residents to discuss how the space should be used. The school has a gym, classrooms and a basketball court which, while occupied, will be used for free lectures, youth groups, elderly gatherings, exhibitions and film screenings.

Vince Mitchell, of Featherstone Street, and co-ordinator of Moorfield Residents’ Action Group Executive (MRAGE) who have been fighting against the development, said: “The fact that the public space has not been used for three years is deplorable. It should be used.”

MRAGE is fighting against the planning applications on the basis that the height of the building would be unacceptable.

Mr Mitchell added: “The development would force nearby residents to live in Dickensian dark conditions. It’s daylight robbery.”

They also argue that the plans leave no provision for public space and devalue what public space there is. A historic cemetery, Bunhill Fields, which is the last resting place of poet William Blake, is adjacent to the site.

Occupy London began in October with an attempt to occupy the London Stock Exchange, leading to the encampment outside St Pauls and in Finsbury Square.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
2 3 4 5 6

Latest London Education News

None of the pupils at Villiers High School required hospital treatment after the incident (Photo: Google StreetView)

London Ambulance Service were called to Villiers High School in Southall today when potentially hazardous chlorine gas was accidentally released during a science lesson.

Computer class

New figures show, in the face of growing youth unemployment, vacancies for digital jobs is set to widen in the next year.

One of the classic A-level-girls-jumping photos (Picture: PA Images)

A-Level results day is one most people remember forever, whether it’s the joy of success or the sickening numbness of missing your offer. Here to lighten the mood are some of the funniest Twitter reactions to the day.

Hamid Mahmood

A Muslim teacher has claimed he was only able to secure a job interview at an East Ham school after pretending to be a “white British applicant”.

Takeover students from the Barking and Dagenham College receiving their awards from Archant staff.

Our student takeover competition is hotting up and we’ve whittled down our journalism hopefuls to take just 23 candidates forward to the next stage.

The private school gates were chained shut [Photograph from Google StreetView]

Highgate School was in lockdown this afternoon after a hoax terror threat was posted on online forum 4chan.


What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Line-Up Events


You'll be stocked up on toiletries  for a while!

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more.

Read more
You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

Read more

Latest Tech News