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Bank of Ideas eviction, Occupy London protestors and media assaulted by bailiffs, Police fail to act and uphold duty of care

 

Early this morning a number of concerning incidents happened affecting Occupy London supporters and media which raise questions about the police’s duty of care and failure to act on it, as well as the actions of the bailiffs – Rossendales – who were employed by investment bank UBS to evict peaceful protesters.

These incidents, which follow a number of previous incidents in the past week during which Occupy London supporters have seen illegal evictions happening, police aggression and violence, raise great concerns for Occupy London as it begins a week in which its Occupy London Stock Exchange occupation by St Paul’s faces eviction.

Here is a video of the final incident involving one of the bailiffs driving his car straight into the media and protesters, having already once driven into people and assaulted a photographer:

Detailed below is a snapshot of the incidents that occurred – further videos and photographs will be posted shortly. If you would like to alert us to any please post the link at

Eviction of Occupy London’s the Bank of Ideas

Just after midnight the Bank of Ideas on Sun Street, the multimillion pound abandoned building owned by Swiss investment bank UBS which Occupy London liberated in an act of public repossession and have been running as a free community and arts space for the public, was evicted. Since the High Court Possession Order came into place at 2pm Wednesday 24 January, the Bank of Ideas has been closed to the public and a team of volunteers have been cleaning.

Signs outside Bank of Ideas. Credit: HeardinLondon

The Bailiffs – Rossendales (High Court Enforcement) – aided by police (City of London and Metropolitan) gained entry to the Bank of Ideas by breaking down the front door using an angle grinder. Around 50 protesters resisted peacefully and left the building shortly after. There were reports that further protesters were inside the building but as of 5am there is no update on this.  The blinds to the ground floor of the building were closed shortly after eviction, the TSG entered the building around the same time.

Earl Street Community Centre eviction

Following this, at Earl Street Community Centre, on the other side of the complex of buildings, also owned by UBS, around 70 Occupy London supporters gathered in solidarity with those inside.

Occupy London supporters and others outside Earl Street Community Centre. Credit: HeardinLondon

Police and bailiffs stormed the gathered crowd at 1.30am pushing through with a live angle grinder with protesters reporting assaults – this is particularly concerning given the fact that the bailiffs were not wearing any identification which they are required to by law, and even when asked would not present it. A Section 60 was put in place at around 2am, which requires people to not cover their faces – police refused to ask the bailiffs to comply with this and remove their balaclavas.

Inside the Earl Street building, protesters allege assaults by the police. Protesters were brought out peacefully and were allowed to take their belongings with them.

As the events were scaling down, at around 4am, one of the bailiffs who was being asked by journalists about the lack of identification, assaulted a photographer by punching him in the face, then got into his car and drove straight into a number of protesters and media at speed.

Having then taken a dead end, the bailiff ended up back in front of the media and protesters who tried to prevent him from leaving, at which point he accelerated into the crowd carrying one protester on his bonnet for 50 – 100 yards.

Throughout these incidents media and protesters requested the police take actions in regards to the crimes which were clearly being committed.  At one point the police removed the keys from the driver of the car, only to return them to him, at which point he immediately accelerated into the crowd.  The police actively cleared the path for an alleged criminal to leave a crime scene and refused to take crime reports from those that had been assaulted.

Occupy London seeks to understand why the police protected a violent aggressor who had committed crimes in front of them and failed in their fundamental care of duty to the public.  We are also gravely concerned that the police’s actions this morning demonstrated a greater concern for the well being of a building than the safety of the public. We look forward to  receiving a formal response.

We understand that this morning’s incidents have been reported to Shepherdess Walk police station and we would urge anyone that witnessed the events to report them.

 

16 Responses to “Bank of Ideas eviction, Occupy London protestors and media assaulted by bailiffs, Police fail to act and uphold duty of care”

  1. Very similar to Blackwater in Iraq. This Bailiff was employed by UBS as a contractor. There is a lot of similarity in the way excessive force was used. UBS should be made to pay for this on top of the criminal charge.

     
  2. Says everything we already know about who owns, controls and pays the police…including, in the last photo, the one with his hands in his pockets and the other one playing a computer game, texting or rolling up?

     
  3. I have a lot of respect for what you guys are doing, but that video doesn’t show attempted murder. Anyone would have done the same intimidated in this way and his actions look more like self-defence. Things were being thrown at his car and on his windscreen, and if someone is going to just sit in front of his car possibly causing criminal damage and not bother moving then it’s not their own fault.

    This is an excellent campaign but you need to keep the respect of the people and not become desperate and make silly mistakes.

     
    • Would you have driven through a crowd of people, knowing you’re controlling a tonne or more of metal?

      Regardless, the police failed utterly to act to control the situation after hearing the concerns of the people, and then failed utterly to prevent injury and criminal action when the bailiff decided to RAM THROUGH THE CROWD.

      There is no justification. This is despicable. Fuck the police and their apparent lack of interest in the law or the public.

       
      • Couldn’t agree more! There a bunch of fascist pigs!

         
  4. Why does property always come before human beings? I never did understand this. I read comments similar to that of Simon’s (previous comment) defending the recent actions of the Oakland police against protesters, claiming that since they ‘cast the first stone’, the police were merely acting in self defence. If i were trained in law, i would make the case that protester’s were simply doing what any bona fide protester does, which is to expose injustice. This sometimes entails defending the right to protest in the first place. The actions of the police and bailiffs reveal that they also acted according to laws that protect property above human beings. The bailiff who reacted with such impulsive violence was clearly behaving in an unprofessional manner. So clearly the protesters win this case.
    I read another interesting comment which asked what would happen if these authorities succeeded in ‘stuffing the occupy movement back in the hat’, snuffing out the global movement? Well, in maybe 10 or 15 years, people would look back at this time, a potential turning point , and wish that the opportunity to make a real and lasting change in our society had not been wasted.

     
  5. And as usual, fucking BBC turns a blind eye to the brutality. Thank goodness for RT ( http://rt.com ) telling the truth.

     
    • It’s because the BBC is government run, they only show what the government want them to show. .

       
    • … and let’s not forget that RT is also “government run” and that “they only show what the government want them to show” as well.

       
  6. Reposted from the video thread on facebook:

    It seems fairly straightforward, the bailiff had committed at least one, possibly multiple assaults. At that point the occupiers are well within their rights to try to apprehend him, especially as they had already requested that the police do so and they had apparently refused.

    So, whether the car was moving or not, the actions of those present were, rightly, taken to prevent the perpetrator of a violent crime leaving the scene. They did their civic duty.

     
  7. Resizing the images used on this page would make it load quicker, especially for people who aren’t using broadband. The images are in files that are almost 2MB each, with 12 million pixels in each image, but the page is set up so that they get download full size, then re-sized in the web browser to only about 300,000 pixels per image.

    Clicking on the image could still link to the high resolution images if you want to share them for printing.

     
  8. What is concerning is the lack of sleep we have had yet again because of your actions.

     
  9. “Peaceful protesters”?????????? No, poppet. You were engaged in a violent ongoing criminal action and had previously assaulted both police and members of the public. The only complaint I have about the police is that it has taken so long to deal with your appalling behaviour.

    You are as bad as the rioters and probably the same people, middle-class halfwits with too much time and too little integrity. Time to grow up and do something useful.

     
    • I’ve been to the protests and I can vouch that they have always been peaceful.
      The people protesting come from all backgrounds
      Some people there are also working people
      Uniting with others and speaking out about what is wrong in society is a “useful” thing to do

       
  10. It is not acceptable that people are claiming they are only doing their job. Our job as human beings is not to neglect ourselfs, each other, or our planet and its species. NOW TIME 4 CHANGE IS HERE

     
  11. People Together!
    http://vimeo.com/35984177

     

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