London protesters occupy UBS-owned building

Occupy London protesters, facing legal proceedings to evacuate their camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral, have moved into an office building owned by Swiss bank UBS.

This content was published on November 18, 2011 minutes and agencies

Occupy London said on its website on Friday that the group had taken over the abandoned office block in the neighbourhood of Hackney, northeast London, in an overnight "public repossession".

More than 200 tents have been pitched outside St Paul’s since October 15 in a protest against capitalist excess inspired by New York's Occupy Wall Street protest.

It is the first time the group has successfully occupied a building. Its failed effort to take over the London Stock Exchange led the protesters to pitch camp outside the cathedral, sparking an ongoing dispute over whether they have a right to be there.

“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 other financial giants are sitting on massive abandoned properties,” Occupy London supporter Jack Holburn said in a statement published on the group’s website.

UBS said it was aware of the situation and was taking legal action.

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