Judge allows evicted RBS 'love activists' in London to serve homeless Xmas dinner

Judge allows evicted RBS 'love activists' in London to serve homeless Xmas dinner
A judge has ordered the so-called ‘Love Activists’ squatters, recently evicted from a former RBS building in London, should be allowed back in to carry out their plan of serving Christmas dinners to the homeless.

The activists took over the building on the corner of St Martin’s Lane and Charring Cross Road on December 20, where the group was intent on creating a “safe space” for those without homes at Christmas.

The activists took over the building on the corner of St Martin’s Lane and Charring Cross Road on December 20, where the group was intent on creating a “safe space” for those without homes at Christmas.

Their free meal program was part and parcel of a protest against the British capital’s housing crisis.

The bulk of them were evicted after bailiffs arrived earlier this week with a court order, though two of the activists refused to vacate the premises and later staged a protest on the balcony.

The pair eventually came down and were promptly arrested on suspicion of violating the court order.

“They currently remain in custody at a central London police station,” the Guardian cites a Scotland Yard spokesperson as saying.

However, on Wednesday evening, a high court judge amended the injunction, saying the activists should be allowed back in for the sole purpose of preparing, serving and participating “in a festive Christmas lunch for homeless people" on Thursday.

Despite the court order, police refused to allow the activists admittance to the building on Wednesday night. According to the UK Independent, around 50 protesters - some of whom said they were homeless - had gathered on the sidewalk outside the building to throw their support behind the occupation.

One common chant among the demonstrators was “homes, not banks.”

The five-story Victorian building has reportedly been empty for 18 months and current ownership of the premises is not clear. It was formerly leased by RBS, but the current owners, a Jersey-based company called Greencap Ltd, appear to have dissolved.

The activists chose this building for its symbolic weight, saying the previous tenants of the building make their “homes not banks” message even more resonant.

Reuters / Andrew Nelles

One activist, Danny Freeman, 22, told the Guardian that providing a Christmas dinner was not their only aim for the building.

They had hoped to distribute clothing, set up a food bank, and hold workshops and film evenings for the poor. Leaving the building in better condition than they found it was also on the agenda.

The overall aim was to highlight “the pay gap between the UK’s rich and poor,” he said.

ICYMI