Manchester homeless protest camp moves to new site

Protestors on St Anne's Square
Image caption Protestors moved their camp from St Peter's Square to St Anne's Square after an eviction was carried out

Homeless protesters who have camped out in Manchester city centre for more than a month have been moved on by police and bailiffs.

About 30 people had been living in tents on St Peter's Square, outside the Central Library, since 15 April.

Manchester City Council had been issued a warrant to close the camp, with campaigners losing an appeal.

The demonstrators have now set up another settlement about half a mile away, in St Anne's Square.

Police and bailiffs arrived at about 08:00 BST to break up the St Peter's Square camp.

Some protesters packed up their tents and equipment and left the area peacefully, but others resisted.

Campaigners said they wanted to highlight a crisis in temporary housing and the plight of homeless people.

Image caption Police and bailiffs arrived at about 08:00 BST to move protesters on

The council said some demonstrators had been behaving "entirely inappropriately" in a public area.

Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council Bernard Priest said: "While it is entirely legitimate to raise concerns about homelessness, there have been issues with offensive graffiti and other forms of vandalism, fighting, public urination, street drinking, litter and loud music being played.

"The camp has now cost the council and Greater Manchester Police more than £88,000 in additional policing, security and legal costs. In the current climate, this is not an extra cost any public body can shoulder lightly.

"Over the last month, our homelessness service has provided support and advice to more than 20 members of the camp - as they work regularly with other homeless people across the city - and officers were present prior to and during the eviction to provide accommodation to anyone willing to accept it."

Image caption Some campaigners have moved into a marquee on St Anne's Square
Image caption Resistant protesters demonstrated against the eviction order and covered their faces
Image caption Police and bailiffs arrived at about 08:00 BST to move protesters on
Image caption Other protesters swept out their tents and packed up their things peacefully ahead of the arrival of police
Image caption Campaigners had been sleeping in tents in the city centre for several weeks

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