Occupy London takes over empty UBS bank – live
Protesters escalate demonstration with ‚public repossession‘ a day after ignoring Corporation of London’s demand for them to leave St Paul’s
11.03am: My colleague Peter Walker is down at the new occupation and has just been allowed into the new building. He writes:
The new building is a huge, four-storey office building of, I’d guess, 1970s vintage. It was occupied last night, and has a notice in the window saying it is being squatted. Those inside say there are just under 30 people in there. There are some private security guards around, and City police have also just turned up.
Those inside say that apart from the Occupy movement’s other priorities and global finance and social justice they want to highlight govenment moves to criminalise squatting.
It’ll be mainly a meeting place (for #olsx and others) with only bare minimum sleeping there – that’ll be a popular winter billet
New #olsx occupied building is vast, and for now they have it all. They have ‚S6‘ squatting notice up in window
twitpic.com/7fqnml New #olsx building nr Liverpool St. It’s very, very big – and for now, all theirs
Building is owned by subsidy of UBS, I’m told. Just like St Paul’s it’s right opposite a Starbucks. Very handy for wifi access #olsx
twitpic.com/7fqqin Private security have already arrived outside new #olsx building. Not sure what they plan to do
I’m inside the new occupation building. Vast, looks like it’s not been used for quite a while #olsx
I’m told there’s an auditorium and, oddly, a mirrored dance studio somewhere upstairs. How useful #olsx
10.57am: If you refresh the page, I’ve posted a picture taken by my colleague Peter Walker of two security guards outside the occupied UBS building.
They say they are going to open a „bank of ideas“ there tomorrow, with talks from Palestinian activists and comedy from Josie Long, as well as contributions from trader Alessio Rastani. „Offices and meeting rooms will be available for those that have lost their nurseries, community centres and youth clubs due to savage government spending cuts.“
They say the protesters „gained access to the building and secured it“ last night, „giving them a legal claim on the space“.
One of the demonstrators is quoted drawing attention to the fact some properties stand empty while homes are repossessed. Jack Holburn said:
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 statement says this is a „non-residential occupation“ and tells protesters not to bring their sleeping bags.
10.44am: Occupy London protesters have taken over an abandoned office block near Liverpool Street station in central London belonging to investment bank UBS in an escalation of their protests against the banking sector and the government’s response to the financial crisis.
Yesterday the Corporation of London gave the protesters until 6pm to leave their camp at St Paul’s Cathedral. The deadline came and went without them moving and high court proceedings are expected to be brought today, although they may take months to conclude.
More details soon …
– First building for the economic justice campaigners as they occupy third space in borough of Hackney, alongside existing spaces in the City of London and borough of Islington
– New ‘Bank of Ideas’ open to public this Saturday. Offices and meeting rooms will be available for those that have lost their nurseries, community centres and youth clubs due to savage Government spending cuts
Occupy London has taken over a huge abandoned office block in the borough of Hackney belonging to the investment bank UBS in a move it describes as a ‘public repossession.’ 
Overnight on Thursday, a dozen activists from the Occupy London, campaigners for social and economic justice as part of the global fight for real democracy, gained access to the building and secured it, giving them a legal claim on the space.
The multimillion pound complex, which has been empty for several years, is the group’s third space and its first building, adding to its two camps at St Paul’s Courtyard – near the London Stock Exchange in the heart of the City – and at Finsbury Square (borough of Islington).
Occupy London supporters Jack Holburn said: “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 Bank of Ideas
The group say the space will be reopened on Saturday morning as the ‘Bank of Ideas.’  An events programme is being lined up, including talks from Palestinian activists, comedy from Josie Long and a session led by trader Alessio Rastani, who sent shockwaves through the media following a provocative interview on the Eurozone crisis. 
Sarah Layler of Occupy London added: “The Bank of Ideas will host a full events programme where people will be able to trade in creativity rather than cash. We will also make space available for those that have lost their nurseries, community centres and youth clubs to savage Government spending cuts.”
The Bank of Ideas is a non-residential occupation – so visitors are asked not to bring their sleeping bags. Space will be free from drugs and alcohol from the start, as per Occupy London’s safer space policy.
 The complex is owned by Sun Street Properties Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of UBS. The property includes 5-29 Sun Street, 5-17 Crown Place, 8-16 Earl Street and 54 Wilson Street. See dl.dropbox.com/u/136370/bankofideas/ubs…, http://dl.dropbox.com/u/136370/bankofideas/shoreditch-ubs.PDF, dl.dropbox.com/u/136370/bankofideas/pla…, http://dl.dropbox.com/u/136370/bankofideas/os-map.pdf and dl.dropbox.com/u/136370/bankofideas/lan…
 UBS Bank, which describes itself as a ‘premier global financial services firm offering wealth management, investment banking, asset management and business banking services’ was the subject of a $60bn bailout from the Swiss government in 2008 after piling up the biggest losses of any European lender from the global credit crisis. Since the time, the bank has cut thousands of jobs.
In September, a 31-year old trader at UBS was arrested by City of London police in connection with rogue trading that has cost the bank an estimated $2bn. The New York Times wrote an article in response called ‘At UBS, It’s the Culture That’s Rogue’ (see www.nytimes.com/2011/09/24/business/glo…? pagewanted=all)
The Financial Mail ran the headline ‘UBS grabs £1bn from pensioners’ with reference to a controversial form of secured lending that was sold aggressively to pensioners (seedl.dropbox.com/u/136370/bankofideas/ubs….)
The bank has nine offices in the UK including three in London.
A recent report showed a total of 9,200 homes in the UK were repossessed by banks in the third quarter of the year, a rise on the previous three months (see www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15672123). Figures are expected to deteriorate further.
 Nearest tubes for the Occupy London Stock Exchange (OccupyLSX) site are St. Pauls, Mansion House and Canon Street; buses 4, 11, 15, 23, 25, 26, 100, 242; do check Transport For London website for delays and closures at journeyplanner.tfl.gov.uk/user/XSLT_TRI…. The new Bank of Ideas is just down the road from the Occupy London Finsbury Square (OccupyLFS) space, which is near Moorgate; buses 141, 153, 205, 21, 214, 43
 On Sunday 16th October at an assembly of over 500 people on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral, Occupy London collectively agreed the initial statement below. Please note, like all forms of direct democracy, the statement will always be a work in progress. Details at occupylsx.org/?page_id=575
 Bringing together a diverse range of people, Occupy London’s Stock Exchange, Finsbury Square (OccupyLFS) and Bank of Ideas are part of more than 30 occupations happening in towns and cities across the UK and over 1,000 actions worldwide coming together under the banner of “United For Global Change” calling for true democracy. Occupy London is supported by groups including UK Uncut, the London-based Assembly of the Spanish 15M movement and many others. It has already received phenomenal interest, from the public and media in the UK and around the world, with the OccupyLSX facebook group now more than 31,000 members.