Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Occupy London protesters took over a branch of the Iraqi Rafidain Bank in London’s main financial district days after being peacefully evicted from a vacant building across from UBS AG’s London headquarters.
More than 50 squatters moved into the Iraqi bank building before 6 a.m. today, Occupy spokesman Ronan McNern said by phone. The 8-story stone building on the corner of Leadenhall Street and Whittington Avenue is blackened with grime and an Occupy London banner is hanging outside the fourth floor. Iraqi Rafidain’s U.K. unit is in liquidation, according to a posting on the bank’s British website dated Aug. 11.
“Yet another building in the heart of the City of London is empty when there are so many people homeless and many people are suffering cuts,” McNern said. “It’s a travesty that all these buildings are lying empty when they could actually be put to good use.”
Six police vehicles, including three vans, were outside the property at 4:45 p.m. local time. The building has been vacant for more than 10 years and the bank was closed in 1990, McNern said.
Occupy will continue activities such as debates and lectures at the shuttered Iraqi bank, according to McNern. Some protesters are still in the first building, which is owned by UBS and housed the movement for more than two months before the Jan. 25 eviction, he said.
--Editors: Jeff St.Onge, Ross Larsen
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