Occupy protesters leave Barbican

 

Occupy London protesters who took over an office building in the City have left the site just hours after they occupied it.

The economic justice campaigners entered Roman House in the Barbican at about 3.30am yesterday, the fifth occupation they have carried out to date.

But last night they decided to leave the building after a request from contractors employed by its owners.

Although Berkeley Homes had described the occupation as "potentially dangerous", protesters said they chose to leave to avoid putting at risk the jobs of those working on the building.

The campaigners said in a statement: "Occupy London was contacted by individual workers employed by Berkeley Homes who were concerned for their job security as it transpired they were recently employed to help renovate the building.

"In light of these discussions, yesterday evening it was decided to leave the building.

"We trust that Berkeley Homes will ensure that their redevelopment of the site will make adequate provision for affordable housing."

City of London Police said the protesters left of their own accord.

A police spokesman said the building had been secured once more and there was no longer a police presence there.

In its statement, Occupy London went on: "In the past 24 hours, the occupation of Roman House in the Barbican in the City of London focused attention, once again, on the refusal of the City of London Corporation to open its accounts to full public scrutiny, a basic duty accepted by every other public authority in the country.

"Response from local residents was tremendous with some coming up to occupiers to wish them support and find out more."

When the group announced its latest occupation, it said the building had previously housed financial service companies.

Campaigners initially vowed to remain at the abandoned block until the City of London Corporation published full details of its City cash accounts.

But Berkeley Homes urged them to vacate the building, expressing concerns they were putting themselves and the public "in real danger".

"It is not safe for public use, there are holes in the floors and we are in the early stages of asbestos removal", a spokesman said.

The company described the protesters' actions as "misguided", saying the previous occupiers were a firm of architects and the site had never been owned by the City of London.

Occupy London had planned to open the building to the public tomorrow for a lecture on the City's "secret finances and lobbying activities".

They are now vowing to hold the event "in the open areas of the Barbican centre itself".

January 23 is also the 100-day anniversary of the movement's occupation of the land by St Paul's Cathedral, where they set up camp on October 15 last year.

On Wednesday the High Court backed the corporation's bid to evict the protesters from the area.

But one of the protesters has launched an appeal and the rest remained defiant this weekend.

Other occupations by the movement include Finsbury Square and a building owned by investment bank UBS, both in the City of London.

About 50 protesters took over Roman House and a number of nearby residents came out to show their support during the day, the group said yesterday.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher A specialist primary school i...

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links