Occupy London protesters claim to have taken over an office block in Hackney, London, belonging to the global finance and banking giant United Bank of Switzerland (UBS).
Access to the building was gained on Thursday night and protesters have called it a "public repossession". The occupation has now become the third base in the capital after St. Paul's Cathedral and Finsbury Square occupations. The office block is not in use at this time and one protester and Occupy London supporter 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.
Occupy London have said they will open its doors on Saturday and say the bank will be rebranded as the "Bank of Ideas", reports Yahoo News. UBS is the bank where Kweku Adoboli, a 31-year old trader in its London-based exchange traded funds business, was arrested in September in connection with a £1.2bn ($2bn) loss due to unauthorised trading.
Occupy movement protesters in the East London building are planning to host a number of events over the weekend, including talks from comedienne Josie Long and a seminar led by controversial trader Alessio Rastani, who controversially claimed in a television interview that he goes to bed dreaming of another recession.
Meanwhile at the Occupy base at St. Paul's - the City of London Corporation had given protesters until 1800GMT (1300EDT) on Thursday to "clear the public highway". So far the protesters have not moved and as one movement protester said: "We're not planning on going anywhere."