Protestors have taken over a large property owned by Olympic Orbit tower designer Anish Kapoor in the first demonstration against the London Games.
Bread and Circuses, whose members opened up the expensive
property in central London today for a celebration of art and music, is an
offshoot of the Occupy movement that gave City of London officials a headache
over the St Paul’s Cathedral encampment. Its name is a reference to the apparent
smokescreen that the Games will offer to politicians looking to avoid more
serious social and economic issues.
Members have already created a Facebook page, Twitter account and a blog. Their chief complaint is that the Games are “being used by the government and corporations to take our minds off austerity measures, the global economic crisis and the commodification of everything, even art”.
The group’s members, including a homeless man, claim to have been in the property for around a week. A message on its website said of Kapoor’s “meccano on crack” tower on the Olympic Park: “Apparently ‘public art’, it costs £15 to visit.”
The controversial red observation tower cost £22.7m to build, but the project was helped by the financial backing of steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal.
The protestors told reporters that they wanted to use “all this empty space” left derelict by Kapoor, adding: “How can you own a place like this and not even use it when there are people sleeping in the streets?"
A welcome banner hangs outside the door of the Lincoln's Inn Fields home, but the property is in a bad way. Ground floor windows are boarded up, while the only furniture is a pair of supermarket trolleys.