Clarification regarding Evening Standard article about a new Occupy London building
Occupy London would like to clarify that the building mentioned in today’s Evening Standard is not an Occupy London building.
We have received the following statement from the group that occupied the building, which they have posted on the Evening Standard’s comments section (Please note that the first paragraph of the statement has been removed on the ES website):
“I am one of the people, that you are venting your anger at. I have not slept a night at St.Pauls and if any one else here has then they are obviously not doing so anymore. It amazes me how far the Evading Standard editor and journalists will go to get a headline.
“We occupied the building last week Wednesday, after numerous reports from a lot of different groups stated it was empty.
“This is not the first time it was squatted. This building was squatted two months ago and when the “weightwatchers” showed up a few days later that crew left the building. They were told the building would be disused by January. On the door is a sign saying “weightwatchers” have moved to another premises. The group of scouts using the building have also moved to another premises.
“If the Head commissioner is telling the truth which is often not the case, the building has stopped a group of middle aged scout leaders from having 3 meetings.
“We also spoke to two groups that had been turned away as the centre is due to be demolished and replaced by a seven storey building. Although a little research found that planning permission has not even been granted yet.
“We have been in contact with the various scout leaders from the beginning. At first they seemed quite happy that the center would be being used for more than just meetings. Within a few days we had spent hours cleaning, de-weeding and beginning preparations for the building to be fully utilised for the community. Free Gardening workshops, tai chi, kung fu, fundraisers, cinema screenings and lock-picking workshops(just kidding
“There is no doubt that there are people who abuse the section 6 squatting right, but there is a real problem when a newspaper declares war on a diverse group of people, most of which respect the spaces they use as if it were their home…
“On a side note, what does “Occupy Frontline” mean? The first time I’ve heard the term used and I’m surprised to see it portrayed as if it was a quote. Perhaps the Evading Standard would like to reference this quote, although that’s a little more journalism than they are used to.”