Ex-servicemen intent on financial justice, take over E. London Court

Tony Gosling tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Tue Dec 20 23:59:26 GMT 2011

Occupy protesters take over disused London courthouse to hold 'mock 
trials'... after arriving by TANK

The G unfortunately have no pix

Claiming squatters' rights after getting into Old Street Magistrates' Court
Vow to try 'the one per cent' they blame for economic crisis
Will use real solicitors as prosecution before a retired judge
Protester: 'Government failed to bring those responsible to justice, 
so we felt the people should do it instead.'

By Simon Tomlinson - Daily Mail - 20th December 2011
Around 50 Occupy protesters stormed a derelict court building in 
London today after driving there in a tank on a mission to bring 
'those responsible' for the economic crisis to justice.
They have vowed to hold mock trials at Old Street Magistrates' Court 
for alleged corrupt politicians and greedy bankers using real 
solicitors before a retired judge.
The group also includes a new offshoot comprising ex-servicemen who 
call themselves 'Occupy veterans'.
Claiming squatters' rights: Some of the 50 demonstrators who took 
over the court building congregate on the steps as they spell out 
their plans to try allegedly corrupt politicians and bankers
The protesters have already unfurled a giant 'Occupy Everywhere' 
banner along the roof of the courthouse, although legal notices put 
on doors establishing their 'rights' as squatters had been ripped down by noon.
They scribbled the names of bankers and politicians on chalkboards 
outside the court's cells.
Occupy member Adam Fitzmaurice, a 28-year-old music industry 
management student, said: 'We are going to use the courthouse to put 
some people on trial.
'The government has failed to bring those responsible to justice, so 
we felt the people should do it instead. We've got a retired judge 
and real solicitors.'
But asked whether they expected their 'defendants' to attend, fellow 
Occupy protester Ronan McNern admitted: 'We might have to try them in 
Taking ownership: One protester scales a barbed wire-covered fence 
around the complex, while another flicks a peace sign on the steps of 
the courthouse. They plan to use real solicitors in their mock trials


On the frontline: Members of Occupy Veterans, a group of 
ex-servicemen intent on financial justice, led by Joe Glenton (right) 
next to the 'Tank of Ideas'

He added: 'We are targeting the people we feel have been let off or 
not been brought to justice - it could be bankers, politicians or companies.
'These are not mock trials. These are trials with qualified 
solicitors. It's not about staging anything. The accused will be 
invited to attend.'
Mr McNern denied the building was a glorified squat, saying: 'This 
building has been empty since 1996, which is a travesty given what is 
currently going on.
'This is about inviting the public in, just as we did with the 'bank 
of ideas' in the disused UBS building.'
A statement posted on the group's website said: 'As Occupy London 
Stock Exchange occupation prepares to present its case at the High 
Court today, members of Occupy London have liberated a disused court 
house - Old Street Magistrates' Court - in London's East End 
alongside a group of military veterans, Occupy Veterans.
'The opening of Occupy London's fourth occupation, will see the 
movement conducting 'trials of the one per cent' in the abandoned 
magistrates' court building which has lain empty since 1996 despite 
its prime location and Grade II listing.'
Down to the last detail: The activists scribbled the names of bankers 
and politicians on chalkboards outside the court's cells in readiness 
for their pretend hearings
A Met Police spokesperson said: 'Officers were called to a disused 
building on Old Street this morning following a report of squatters in place.
'Officers from Hackney attended the scene. No arrests have been made.'
The results of a poll published today shows that nearly two-thirds of 
Christians surveyed (63 per cent) thought the Church of England 
should do more to speak out against the financial sector.
This compared to just one in five (22 per cent) respondents who disagreed.
Peter Kerridge, CEO of Premier Christian Media Trust, which 
commissioned the survey, said: 'The Church of England found 
themselves in a difficult position when taken by surprise by the 
protesters encampment.
'However the Bishop of London's intervention did make a positive 
difference to what could have become a truly disastrous situation.
'The results clearly show that Christians believe the Church could 
have responded better to the protesters as well as doing more to 
combat corruption within some parts of the financial sector.
'Even David Cameron, recently acknowledged that the absence of a 
Christian moral code allowed some bankers and politicians to behave 
immorally to the detriment of British society.
'The Prime Minister's speech has now given the Church of England the 
perfect opportunity to take a stand against this corruption on behalf 
of the Christian community and beyond.' 
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