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UBS attempt to intimidate Occupy London supporters with questionable legal documents


Following the official opening of “public repossession” Bank of Ideas this weekend, bailed out Swiss bank UBS have delivered a set of legal papers to this already thriving community centre on the borders of the City.

Occupy London lawyers have placed doubt on the enforceability of the documents delivered by UBS, suggesting that they consitute a flagrant breach of civil procedure rules.

On Friday, the Bank of Ideas, a huge office complex of four interlinked buildings that had been left empty since 2009 was taken over by a group affiliated with Occupy London – campaigning for social and economic justice in the fight for global real democracy – in a move they described as a ‘public repossession’.

The centre was opened on Saturday morning as the ‘Bank of Ideas’, with activists promising to make space available for those that have lost their nurseries, community centres and youth clubs to Government spending cuts. The Bank of Ideas hosted a full events programme over the weekend, including the second day of the UK-Ireland Occupy Convention, a talk from trader Alessio Rastani and a packed gig by comedian Mark Thomas. [3]

On Friday, the investment bank posted papers relating to an injunction on the building, the validity of which is being formally challenged by the Bank of Ideas legal team. On Saturday, UBS left papers detailing a possession order on the building which were unsigned, unstamped and had no claim number.

Occupy London activist Helen Poplar said: “By hiring expensive lawyers to rush out questionable paperwork, UBS is trying to use their financial clout to scare us into abandoning a thriving community centre. It won’t work. Just because you’re a global investment bank in receipt of a $60bn bailout doesn’t mean you can short-circuit the proper legal process.”

Edward North added: “We’ve been totally overwhelmed with requests to use the space – we already have events penciled in up until the end of the year. Yet UBS, a bank whose reckless activities have cost us our community centres, youth clubs and libraries, would prefer that this building remains empty. If Cameron is serious about the Big Society, he would personally intervene to allow the Bank of Ideas to continue.”

UBS was one of the main beneficiaries of shared appreciation mortgages, sold to older homeowners in the UK through the late 90s, which have left many British pensioners in poverty as house prices rose and their equity declined. Unlike Barclays, UBS never launched any kind of rescue package to help those pensioners who suddenly found themselves unable to move to more suitable accommodation or to be closer to family members after a lifetime of paying the bills. [4]

© 2012 Occupy London
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