Yeah yeah, I’ve been a little remiss in posting about the Occupy London demonstration camp. If you need background on this, check out the demonstrators’ “official” website. Meanwhile, I’m gonna start blogging about the thing – and the Guardian has given me a wonderful entry point with its story on the demonstrators “repossessing” an empty bank!
Yesterday the Corporation of London, who own part of the occupied land, gave the protestors until 6pm to leave. The deadline came and went, the campers stayed put, so now the Corporation has started legal proceedings. These proceedings are likely to take months, partly because some of the occupied land belongs to St Paul’s Cathedral who are refusing to ask the protesters to go!
And now, to prove they’re not cowed by the Corporation of London’s court shennanigans, some demonstrators have squatted an empty building owned by the banking company UBS. The demonstrators have called it a “repossession”, an ironic reference to the fact that in this time of recession, banks have been repossessing homes and businesses all over the country rather than give defaulting debtors a break.
Occupy London supporter Jack Holburn said of their action:
“Whilst over 9,000 families were kicked out of their homes in the last three months for failing to keep up mortgage payments – mostly due to the recession caused by the banks – UBS and others financial giants are sitting on massive abandoned properties. “As banks repossess families’ homes, empty bank property needs to be repossessed by the public. Yesterday we learned that the Government has failed to create public value out of banking failure. We can do better. We hope this is the first in a wave of ‘public repossessions’ of property belonging to the companies that crashed the global economy.”
The authorities’ reaction to the move has been paranoid overreaction. Peter Walker, reporting live for the Guardian, said: “A car-load of City police have just turned up. For some reason the police are heavily armed – even a machine gun. No idea why they’re here.”
I hate to be paranoid… but why do heavily-armed, machine gun-toting usually turn up somewhere. Look at what happened in Iraq. Look at what’s still going on in Afghanistan.
But that’s just ridiculous, right? The police wouldn’t just blatantly kill people in central London, right? Right?
Remember Ian Tomlinson, then ask yourself the question again…
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