Cowgate Occupy Camp
In response to the threat of the loss of associated public assets, including the NHS Cowgatehead Church homeless clinic, individuals from the homeless community valiantly took up occupation of the Cowgate gap site for 5 months, before being evicted in October 2016, following court action.
With the Old Town long associated as a refuge for those whose may have fallen on hard times, this lovable motley crew of dedicated individuals endured some degree of scorn and even serious abuse, with the seemingly deliberate arson of numerous tents on site. Yet in defiance, and in spite of very unpleasant living conditions, camped next to such a noisy, polluted arterial road frequented by hordes of passing drunken revellers, The Occupiers were very genuinely committed to safeguarding the Cowgatehead Church and the gap site, and raising further awareness of the plight of the Library.
In response to the camp one local resident commented that he would rather the presence of a few humble so called ‘down and outs’ that the insidious creep of soulless corporate hotels and student accommodation blocks, and the trashy, anti-social, late night party culture which these speculative developments encourage.