Occupy London Take Over Former Iraqi Rafidain Bank

Occupy London

PA/The Huffington Post   First Posted: 27/01/2012 16:03 Updated: 27/01/2012 16:03

The Occupy London protesters have taken over a former bank in the City of London, a spokeswoman for the group said on Friday.

The branch of the Iraqi Rafidain Bank on Leadenhall Street has been empty since it went into administration last year.

The Occupy demonstrators say they want to use it as the home for their 'Bank of Ideas', which was based in the UBS building in Hackney until a possession order was enforced yesterday.

A spokeswoman quoted by the Press Association said the new premises would be used as a "community space" for lectures, workshops and debates in order to put the property to "good social use".

"There was a call out for a gathering at the Bank of Ideas this morning. After meeting at midday, those gathered went to the former premises of the Rafidain Bank which was the Bank of Iraq at one point," she said.

"It is likely this will be the new home for the Bank of Ideas. There were some police in attendance when the group arrived, which caused some concern, but they have now left the scene.

"This is about public repossession, taking buildings that have been allowed to lie empty in prime city spaces and taking them back for the community."

A City of London Police spokeswoman told the Huffington Post that they were "aware and responding" to the incident.

On Saturday the group took over Roman House, an abandoned nine-storey office building in the Barbican in the City of London which previously housed companies from the financial service industries.

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