Police in London have moved in to evict Occupy supporters from the empty UBS building which has housed the alternative 'Bank of Ideas' - a project which has combined community space for local people with teach-ins and education events around global issues and alternative to corporate greed and flawed neo-liberal economic policies.
Supporters have been livecasting the eviction (http://t.co/KFLFIavr), which seems to have been timed by the authorities to try to minimise demonstrations and opposition, and the presence of the media.
The Bank of Ideas, the multimillion pound complex of buildings on Sun Street owned by Swiss investment bank UBS, closed its doors today as the Possession Order granted to UBS came into place from 2pm on Sunday 29 January 2012.
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 mortgages throughout the 1990s, a trade that has left many British pensioners virtually penniless and unable to move to more suitable accommodation, say critics. Unlike other banks, UBS never set up a rescue fund for those affected.
* Occupy LSX - http://occupylsx.org/
* Bank of Ideas - http://www.bankofideas.org.uk/