Occupy Edinburgh have left their protest camp at St Andrew Square after the owners of the garden pursued legal action against them.
The protesters had been camped there for three months as part of a global campaign for “true democracy and an equitable and sustainable future.”
After a court hearing on 25 January, the group were given until 5pm to leave the square or face formal eviction. They met the deadline and escaped formal eviction, but have vowed to continue their campaign elsewhere in the city – but have declined to name the new site.
A message posted on their website read: “We are moving from St Andrew Square but our campaign against inequality, exploitation and corporate greed continues.
“Eviction changes nothing. We will still be fighting for a fairer society where human rights are more important than profits and corporations cannot control democratic governments.
“You can’t evict an idea.”
Andy Neal, Chief Executive of Essential Edinburgh, who owns St Andrew Square, told The Journal he was “delighted now that this issue seems to have been resolved in an amicable way.”
“As of this morning the square was clear, which was fantastic.
“There were a few bits and pieces left and just to make sure we were appropriately covered, we gained from the Sheriff a notice to have that cleared, but hopefully the last scrap will be taken away by protestors later this afternoon.
“Overall we’re very glad that the square can be now be used by everyone, which is what we wanted.”
However, months of camping have taken a significant toll on the grassy square, with speculation that it might require taxpayer money to restore it to its original condition.
Mr Neal said: “As far as we can tell, there is significant wear and tear to the area.
“We are currently looking at the best options for seeding and turfing, but as it is January not much is growing.
“We are working closely with the Council to assess our best options.”