Bailiffs stage early morning eviction of Occupy Bristol - but find only one man left
BRISTOL City Council has reclaimed College Green for the people of Bristol.
The local authority went into the Occupy Bristol camp with bailiffs at about 4.30am today to evict any remaining protestors, but were met only by a homeless man asleep in one of the two remaining structures on the site.
As a mobile floodlight illuminated the area, the final remnants of a four-month fixture were erased this morning.
Once the site had been checked for occupiers, employees from the council and waste disposers May Gurney, dressed in high-visibility jackets, started dismantling a wooden dome, followed by the “caretaker’s” building erected in front of the Council House.
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Now College Green – owned by the cathedral but maintained by the council – is being reinstated as an amenity for the people of Bristol.
The Dean of Bristol, the Very Reverend David Hoyle, and the local authority expressed gratitude for the protestors’ efforts in the clear up over the last few weeks and thanked those who moved off the site after a County Court ruling last month.
The Very Rev Hoyle said: “We, and the city council, have listened to the Occupy Movement throughout the months they have been on College Green.
“However, despite many reassurances that the occupiers will leave College Green, some failed to do so.
“Sadly, despite giving them every opportunity to move on, we were left with no other alternative other than to use legal proceedings to reclaim the land for the use of all Bristolians.
“This protest, as with those around the UK and abroad, has laid down a real challenge for us and for others to reflect on issues of privilege, greed and justice.
“Many of the global economic, sustainability and social justice issues espoused by some in the camp have always been of equal concern to the church.
“The cathedral community will continue to respond to that challenge.”
Leader of the Council, Barbara Janke (Lib Dem), said: “It is absolutely right that College Green is returned back to its primary use as a space for all to enjoy and use.
“Together with the Dean, we have said from the very first day that while we respected the group’s right to protest, the occupation of College Green was unlawful.
“The protest has raised some important issues and we have listened and responded to those. However the concerns around their continued presence in such a well loved space justify today's action to remove the last few protesters who decided not to leave voluntarily.”
For the full story of the eviction, see tomorrow’s Bristol Evening Post.