Protesters evicted from building linked to Iraqi Embassy

 

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The Independent Online

Members of the protest group encamped on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral caused a “minor diplomatic incident” tonight after police were forced to evict them from a building linked to the Iraqi Embassy in London.

The Occupy London demonstrators moved into the empty building belonging to the Iraqi bank Rafidain, classed as a “diplomatic premises” because the Embassy forms part of the creditors’ committee appointed when the bank went into liquidation last year.

Officers from the City of London Police moved in just after six o’clock this evening when around four protesters were thought to be refusing to leave.

The demonstrators decided to take over the building, as well as the nearby Lloyds Bank building, after they voluntarily left the bank the disused UBS premises they previously occupied, which was dubbed the “Bank of Ideas”.

A City of London police spokesman said: There is an ongoing police operation to remove a number of people from a property on Leadenhall Street. Police served notice on protesters earlier this evening that the building is a diplomatic premises and they were committing an offence by trespassing there.”

Police cleared the building under Section 9 of the Criminal Law Act 1977, which governs “trespassing on premises of foreign missions”. Unverified reports suggested at least three arrests were made at the site.