At eighteen minutes past six on Sunday evening, as soon as the Sun had set, police closed in to break up a group of peaceful protesters sitting togeth...
The calls for banking reform are growing. About time. The big crash was more than five years ago. Since then we've had Libor rate-fixing, bonuses for failed financiers, massive fines for malpractices by leading banks, mis-sold PPI, interest rate swaps, fraud, money-laundering and tax dodging. Scandal after scandal. Are we mugs or masochists? Why do we put up with it? The rot has got to stop.
Almost fifteen months later, with Occupy Sandy, we see dramatic achievements daily, communities empowering themselves, and a truly organic movement becoming more decentralized, more efficient, more focused, and receiving praise from some very unlikely corners.
The form of the protest was always unsustainable, and a movement that seeks to represent 99% of people will always have its work cut out if it has already alienated 80%. The reality is that even when compared to other left wing movements the numbers were miniscule.
The mess that became of Finsbury wasn't a failure of Occupy, but of the state; of Cameron and Clegg's ideological austerity. When these people came, they were not turned away. They were welcomed in from a city and state that tried to hide them in ally's, desperate to show the world a shiny façade for the Jubilee and the Olympics.
Over the past couple of weeks I have visited Occupy's Finsbury Square camp several times and each time have returned home disappointed with the pictures and the interviews.
The camp at Finsbury Square seems to have changed a little. Familiar faces are missing, and one rickety shelter I watched being constructed only two weeks or so ago, near the kitchen tent, has been demolished - whether by accident (it was waiting to happen) or design I couldn't establish.
Occupy London has created an additional rod for its back: its acceptance of numerous rough sleepers and substance abusers in the camps. Like moths to a flame, they have found a place to stay that's better than a shop doorway.
Occupy is a young movement. I can understand that chaos is to some extent inevitable, that messages are mixed, that among your numbers you have people who like nothing better than to put on a mask or a scarf and have a ding-dong with the cops. But you need to be more coherent, more focused or you'll lose the 98%.
Why should Occupy be different to any other organisation where mixed agendas struggle to get to the top of the pile? There are people who through sheer force of personality will have a stronger voice, a winning argument. Occupy is no different from the real world.
When I first started visiting the Occupy London camps at St Paul's and Finsbury Square, what struck me most were the mixed messages. The camps are not short of creative people who come up with dozens of different slogans. But therein lies the problem for me.
Jimmy. Photographed on Sunday 26 February just after he'd been into St Paul's Cathedral to show them his documents from the Land Registry. Quite why Jimmy decided to pose shirtless is anyone's guess - I thought he was going to strip naked!
Occupy's St Paul's camp is no more. It was evicted in the early hours of 28 February - and now that it has gone, it's so much easier to see the value to Occupy of the camp and its location.
I was not a fan of the Occupy LSX camped at St Pauls. I had an open mind to begin with and if anything, instinctively lent towards them. On the day Ed Miliband was reported to be in support of them I went down to check out the scene. Let's just say I wasn't impressed.
The City of London police have carried out illegal evictions before in a futile attempt to stem the Occupy movement, but the sinister pre-dawn demolition of the school building shows the government getting more desperate to end the extra-parliamentary movements against forced austerity.
In the early hours of 28 February 2012, the bailiffs and the police moved in on the Occupy LSX camp at St Paul's Cathedral. Several small skirmishes and several arrests later, the camp is gone. I was not there - I am not a news photographer - but I do feel a sort of sadness.