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Police illegally evict Occupy London supporters from new building; Bank of Ideas events postponed; Olympic authorities encouraged to use “all available powers” against protesters and tents

 

Occupy London is greatly concerned by what appears to be the wholly disproportionate actions of the City of London Police in breaking and entering premises being legally occupied under Section 6 of the 1977 Criminal Law Act.

Early this morning supporters of Occupy London began legally occupying the abandoned Midland Bank at St Alphage Highwalk, London EC2. For what happened next, we encourage you to watch the video below:

The film ceases just as the Territorial Support Group arrive to forcibly gain entry to the building. Police can be clearly heard to state that the offence under investigation is “theft of a padlock.” There do not seem to have been any witnesses to this crime.

In the events that followed this video, four supporters of Occupy London were arrested. We believe they are being held at Snow Hill Police Station (London EC1A 2DP).

Occupy London is considering the situation closely in consultation with our legal team. Any action we intend to take will be announced in due course.

Events at the Banks of Idea postponed

The Bank of Ideas, the multimillion pound complex of buildings on Sun Street owned by Swiss investment bank UBS, is closing its doors today as the Possession Order granted to UBS comes into place from 2pm. The Bank of Ideas had been open since 18 November as a thriving arts and community centre playing host to just under three hundred talks, workshops, lectures, film screenings, conferences, debates and performances and has promised to reopen soon.

Supporter Jack Holborn stated: “We fully intend to continue with all the wonderful work that has been initiated, including the Free University and the accessibility to arts rehearsal space as soon as possible. Thank you to all the people who have helped make this such an inspiring project so far and we look forward to moving forward together with you into the next phase. We will update you as soon as we can. You can’t evict a Bank of Ideas!”

Occupy London’s first public repossession was chosen as a prime example of a building allowed to fall derelict in the centre of London – an act as wasteful in economic terms as it is in social ones – so that the entire site could be sold off at a later date for redevelopment.

UBS have a history of promoting short-term shareholder value over the interests of society at large. The Swiss bank was implicated in the sale of shared appreciation mortgates throughout the 1990s, a trade that has left many British pensioners virtually penniless and unable to move to more suitable accommodation. [1] [2] Unlike other banks, UBS never set up a rescue fund for those affected.

LOCOG asked to rank tents alongside firearms and explosives

Finally, Occupy London notes that the Home Office has encouraged LOCOG, the authority in charge of the London Olympics, to add tents and camping equipment to its list of prohibited items. [2] This follows reports in November that the Home Office were considering imposing ‘exclusion zones’ around the Olympic sites and proposed Westminster Council bylaws restricting the right to demonstrate in the vicinity of Parliament. [3]

Occupy London is concerned by the introduction of such rules in ways that limit the opportunities for effective oversight. This lack of open debate contributes to an environment in which there is a temptation for authorities to overstep the mark.

Occupy London supporter Laura Taylor said: “This is the latest in a long line of worrying developments. It is now clear that the right to assemble and make your voice heard is being treated as a threat to be controlled rather than an essential element of a free society – one that should be celebrated as testament to the strength of our democracy.

“The concept of protest by permission, the “legitimate protest” that takes place only with the say so of those who make the law, is one that is inimical not just to the nature of protest, but that of democracy itself. The 2012 Olympics are being held in London, not in Beijing. It would be awful if, by the time the summer comes round, it’s harder to tell the difference.”

The City of London Police has to date not issued an apology to Occupy London supporters for repeatedly calling them extremists and terrorists over the course of almost two months in seven official documents sent to the business community in the City. [4]

Note
[1] Occupy London ‘repossesses’ multi-million pound bank offices – http://occupylsx.org/?p=1229 / Bank of Ideas offers UBS £5 for continued use of its building; ‘Save Our Shelter’ exhibition; pensioners support http://occupylsx.org/?p=2540
[2] U.K. Acts to Stop Occupy-Style Protests at London Olympic Venues
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-01-25/u-k-acts-to-stop-occupy-style-protests-at-london-olympic-venues.html
[3] Demonstrations’ to be banned during Olympics’
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/demonstrations-to-be-banned-during-olympics-6265121.html
[4] How Police branded OccupyLSX and UKUNCUT as “Terrorists” /
http://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/police-branded-occupylsx-ukuncut-terrorists/ Do the City of London Police really see Occupy London’s peaceful protesters as domestic extremists? http://occupylsx.org/?p=1924

 

22 Responses to “Police illegally evict Occupy London supporters from new building; Bank of Ideas events postponed; Olympic authorities encouraged to use “all available powers” against protesters and tents”

  1. why cant you make the links “ready to share” to twitter? as they say I am over by 69 letters…

     
  2. They must be worried if they want to stop ‘camping equipment’ being taken into the olympics. It seems you will have to pay to take babies in as well. What a farce.

     
  3. Looks like you were putting your new bolt cutters in action and got caught:

    http://www.occupyforum.org.uk/showthread.php?427-Bolt-Cutter

    http://www.annaraccoon.com/politics/occupy-bolt-cutters/

    http://occupylsx.org/?page_id=2771

    Fancy being daft enough to put that on the internet.

     
    • There are a multitude of uses for Boltcroppers Jim. Toe nail clipping, jam jar opening, wire cutting. I personally use mine to trim the house plants on my window sill. It’s never a good idea to jump to conclusions 🙂

       
  4. While I fully support your cause and right to protest, I must admit my excitement for Occupy to unoccupy St. Paul’s. In the past couple of weeks, I have stopped traveling through the area (choosing a longer way around) because of several instances. I have been hit on and cat-called twice by Occupiers and once I was basically assaulted by a man leaving the camp at an angry pace, walked by me and for absolutely no reason (wasn’t even looking at him), knocked his shoulder into me as he passed so forcefully I nearly fell to the ground. The smell and deranged condition of the tents is also a disgrace to your cause. While I believe you absolutely have a reason to be there and to organize for more people to join, I think you are going about it in the wrong way and thus attracting negative attention. I feel threatened to be anywhere near Occupy and it should NOT be like that. Please clean up the act and choose a way to evoke change in a realistic way…many people agree with you, but are not willing to join/support because of your current tactics. Think of how many people would be attracted to the idea if it didn’t look like you were going to get mugged, assaulted or arrested by being at your site? Might I suggest an information table with elegantly made printed/laminated posters that can stand the weather?? Instead of disgusting looking tents and torn posters, what about circled-groups of people playing music, maybe ones for topic discussion? I think Occupy is a good idea, but laziness in occupying (tents staying, instead of showing up everyday and being seen) isn’t. I just think about how protests happened in the 60’s in the US and how they were able to attract people because of their kindness and good-natured spirit instead of extreme tented, homeless-looking exterior. Thanks for reading, and I hope it wasn’t too harsh. I just think you guys are losing a battle that can’t be won by your current strategy so please adapt a change to further promote your right to be heard. ~Anita

     
  5. I walk on St Alphage Highwalk, every day, I often think if the Occupy Movement were to occupy these spaces.

    The truth is, these building are fully boarded up and they were boarded up when I walked past there yesterday evening.

    The only way anyone could gain entry into the building is forcibly pulling back the boarding and the door behind it.

     
    • Ah right. So how many buildings have you opened average joe? I guess it must be outrageous to think that someone might actually have a bit more experience than you in this field…

       
  6. The police, a pawn in the game.

     
  7. excellent – about time the police took some positive action

     
  8. Interesting how you cut off the video just as it shows you refusing to allow access to the police and no doubt being violent! You must think that the whole of the population are idiots to think you don’t break into buildings! You’re criminals nothing more, now go and get a job and do something useful with your lives!

     
    • Erm, the video was taken on my phone so I’m going to have to disagree with you there. The video cut off as I received a phone call which stopped it filming. This was unfortunate as I was unable to capture the moment the Police removed the boys in front of the door with such force that one of them flew 2 metres away before being restrained by 4 ‘officers’. I have never seen such unneccesary violence and yes, I am making a complaint,

       
      • Get a job, stop leeching from society and making a mess in the capital.

         
        • what do you know if they have a job or not! I bet they are doing more than you do. They have raised awareness about a lot of issues that no one else has dare to do so. Not even the so called independent media, that mainly supports the interest of giant corporations that most often than we know owns them all. I am certainly more aware of the world around me since the movement started. Not because I believe all they say but because I question things more often than I used to. If they actually achieve something, which I am sure they will, it will benefit all of us and when that happens I am sure you will be more than happy to take it. So stop being rude and try to embrace kindness. The world will be a better world if we all do so.

           
  9. And we used to pity the oppressed around the world. Ooops we are now the same.

     
  10. Whether or not the eviction from the building site on the high walk is illegal, the comment “I’m on bail, I can’t be arrested” cheered me right up this morning!

     
  11. Greetings, in response to the vast majority of these comments, the buildings that have been REPOSSESSED have been checked over with our legal team and confirmed that NO FORCE or CRIMINAL DAMAGE has to occur to be entered. This abides well within the system’s laws.

    Also, does nobody actually realise what has just happened? The police have used extensive forces and resources to “investigate” the theft of a PADLOCK!?!?!?! I am disgusted to see my taxes are paying for over 20 police officers to investigated a f**king padlock. Is that a shock for you “truthseeker” to hear that I, Legion, Anonymous, and fellow occupier is employed? Is you were to actually seek the truth you would find a large amount of us have jobs. As for doing something useful, we are fighting for you, your children and your children’s children to live in a fair, non-discrimative world. Seek the REAL facts, not what your TOLD to believe.
    We are legion,
    We do not forgive,
    We do not forget,
    Expect us,

     
    • If you really are employed, I assume it’s a job in which literacy is not a requirement.

       
    • “We are legion,
      We do not forgive,
      We do not forget,
      Expect us”

      …oh please enough with the Hammer horror theatrics already, do you put on your special brown hooded robe before you type sh*t like that?

      Fact is the Police wouldn’t have been waisting tax payers money if friends of yours had not broken into the building; Cause and effect buddy…

       
    • You sir are an idiot! Go ahead and play your Playground gang games. Anonymous! don’t make me laugh, go and put your mask back on and run around with your pals pretending you’re important in some way!

      You aren’t fighting for me or anyone but yourself, don’t be so arrogant to assume we, the real 99% of the population share your views, in fact we clearly don’t or your movement wouldn’t be a handful of scruffy lefties, anarchists and homeless people camping out and getting high/drunk and breaking into buildings!

      Now if you want a sensible discussion then come back with a better reply than your first!

       
    • Well put.
      We still have a long way to go but we will get there one day 🙂 fellow occupier

       
  12. Rent a mob strikes again, I see, and thank God for our police. How much longer are you going to pretend you speak for anyone but your own scruffy, violent and parasitic selves?

     
    • It is pathetic that the best you can offer is insulting other people that you dont even know, just mainly because they do what our law system allows us to do. I think it is admirable that some people are able to commit to their ideas and the are generous enough to fight for all of us, against the selfish and greedy style life that big corporations are trying to make us believe in. Life is not about posessions, is about all of us having compassion and being kind and help each other and in harmony with nature. I dont want a CEO of the big corporations to tell me what will make me happy or advertising companies targetting my children so they are presurised to eat unhealthy diets, or wars being prmoted in the name of “the war on terror” to kill innocent people so big corporations can make millions selling their waponery. No thank you. Your might want to consider embracing kindness and compassion rather than that nasty language,

       

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