A group calling themselves the Love Activists are currently being evicted after taking over a former RBS office in London, which they planned to turn into a food bank.
Squatters being removed right now by police from bank building near Trafalgar Square, on Charing Cross Road. pic.twitter.com/i2Kva8qAUQ— Anne Margaret Daniel (@venetianblonde) December 24, 2014
Members of the movement claim the the private bailiffs are attempting to "illegally" evict them from the building, which the activists call "Love HQ".
An activist named Phoenix told The Huffington Post: "They tried to evict us this morning, there's two people on the balcony threatening to throw themselves off. They're pretty upset about the eviction."
"They had a secret hearing Tuesday then came to evict us with about 20 bailiffs."
"All we're really asking for is a warm place to sleep and to cook Christmas dinner for about 100 homeless people."
THE PEOPLE TOGETHER pic.twitter.com/QSsIoX1yxL— Occupy London (@OccupyLondon) December 24, 2014
One of the squatters told The Evening Standard: "We got in on Saturday and we don’t know how long we will stay. We just want to help the community."
A spokesperson for the Love Activists said: "This is a public repossession. Despite the 1.5 million empty buildings there are 110,000 homeless people in the UK this winter, and squatting is a direct solution to this housing crisis."
If they manage to stay, the group plans to use the space for talks, events, and exhibitions including teaching people "how to squat", as well as feeding and clothing the homeless.
Squatting in non-residential properties is legal if no crime (such as breaking and entering) is committed. Squatters can only be evicted by court order, but owners may reclaim the building if no one is on the premises.
One regular squatter at the Trafalgar Square site said: "We don’t usually find proper washing facilities in the commercial premises we occupy.
"The fact that there is a bathroom in the penthouse suite, so we can actually have a bath while we’re here, is a real bonus."
According to Land Registry records, the most recent owner of the plot is a holding company called Greencap Ltd.