Established on October 22, 2011, as a satellite site, the North London square had become the focal point for the movement since the St. Paul's Cathedral encampment was shut down in February 2012.
The site consisted of 130 tents, a wooden structure and other barricade structures. It housed more than 48 people, many of whom were homeless.
City of London ballifs -- backed up by the London Metropolitan Police -- moved in on 1:00 BST on June 14, 2012, and set up metal fences around the site. It then proceeded to evict the demonstrators under the authority of the Islington Council which had secured an eviction notice, commenting that the ensuing eviction was "peaceful and low-key."
In a statement drafted by the Occupy London General Assembly (GA), "At 1am this morning, 14th June 2012, over a dozen police vans raced down City Road, towards Finsbury Square. Accompanied by two or three coaches of bailiffs in orange jackets. They quickly formed a line round the site and dragged those asleep out of their tents. Some being aware of the police coming climbed into the barricade built over three of the wooden pallet houses, with one masked protester at the top of a tree in the square.
Soon enough people walked out favoring a non violent exit, after many hours the human figure in the tree climbed down. The bailiffs set up two lines of metal fencing around the pavement surrounding the area. Most stayed on the pavement watching the place be destroyed, then some to a grotty homeless shelter the council had liaised with, and some to a new site in Shoreditch Park.
However at 5am there were still about 6 people on the pavement outside, unwilling to leave their home with no appropriate alternative. The place is now being cleared and is caged up. Thanks to all those who support Occupy, and Finsbury Square. We tried to make a difference, at least we tried. If you can please come to Shoreditch Park, any and all donations welcome."
Islington Council was granted a possession order and an injunction permitting the eviction by the High Court on June 1, 2012. Court documents stated that the Finsbury occupation has cost close to £60,000. This included £20,000 damage to the land and the council had spent £26,000 on security. Financial losses also include £12,000 in rent and income after restaurants in the public square closed.
The first eviction notice to the site was served to Occupy London on May 11, 2012, giving them until May 18, 2012, but that process was stalled by an Occupy court challenge.
The eviction was ordered by Council to return the square to the community for the summer. Paul Convery, Islington Council's executive member for community safety, described the area as "one of Britain's most deprived boroughs."
He added, "a number of vulnerable and homeless people have been living in the square. We have been speaking to them and offering advice and support to those who need assistance."
There were numerous complaints both from within Occupy and from the neighbouring community that the site had been overun by garbage.
Commenting on the Finsbury occupation site, Gilbert Richards defended the encampment: "it highlighted the core problems in the very practice of the actualization of occupy and the sheer stagnation that can be caused by internal prejudice."