On the 15th of October 2011 a number of people from diverse backgrounds came together to dispute the culture of greed that exists in the current financial system. The protestors planned to 'Occupy' the London Stock Exchange (L.S.X), however, they fell short of that goal and ended up occupying the space outside it, on the edge of land between the L.S.X and St Pauls Cathedral. They are part of a global movement that 'Occupied' over a 1000 cities worldwide at one point, most famously, Occupy Wall Street. What made Occupy London powerful and different was that it was highly organised and peaceful. On the grounds around St Pauls Cathedral they constructed a camp which had a working kitchen, a library, a university and a cinema. They discussed decisions in small working groups and then brought up any ideas at the larger general assemblies that took place twice a day; a form of direct democracy. They occupied various other spaces and buildings around London including a derelict Magistrates Court and a derelict UBS building.
At 2am on the 28th of February 2012 they were evicted from the OccupyLSX camp after a long legal battle. Around 20 protesters chose to stand their ground and waited to be forcibly removed whilst the majority vacated the camp and sat on the steps of St Pauls Cathedral where they thought they would be safe. But the riot police, once they had dismantled the camp, then dragged praying occupiers from the steps as they had also been instructed to 'clean the steps'.
The series became a multimedia piece in November 2011 as a response to claims made by U.K newspapers that there were no occupiers staying at night. That multimedia piece with poetry recorded by an occupier in a tent outside St Pauls was first published online at Telephoto & Foto8. In 2012 the series became Ed Thompsons first crowdfunded book, for more details or to purchase a copy for £20 please contact Ed via the email on the contact page.
As of Winter 2012 The Bishopsgate Institute created the 'Ed Thompson Archive'. It contains a number of high resolution Occupy London photographs, Occupy London book and five archival photographic prints. It adds to the impressive collection of the Bishopsgate Institutes archive of protest in London.