'Occupy Belfast' takes over empty bank

Published Monday, 16 January 2012
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Protesters say they have taken control of the vacant Bank of Ireland in Belfast city centre, as part of the 'Occupy' movement.

Police attended the scene on Monday afternoon, after a number of youths were reported to be inside the disused premises on Royal Avenue shortly before 12.15pm.

A PSNI spokesman said only that enquiries were continuing.

But, in a statement, the demonstrators said: "Occupy Belfast have taken control of the Bank of Ireland on Royal Avenue in opposition to soaring homelessness, lack of affordable social housing and home repossessions."

Stating that they hoped for the "building of a housing campaign", they added: "Banks take our houses so we take their buildings. This is a repossession for the community!"

Occupy protests have been held across the world, with the most high-profile demonstrations taking place outside Wall Street in New York and St Paul's Cathedral in London.

(Pic courtesy of @AMarkRamsey)

© UTV News
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27 Comments
dee in derry wrote (914 days ago):
banks destroy the economy with their stock market gambles...they take massive public purse bailouts and then they loan it back to the public with interest added...i fail to see the logic. Why are people letting this happen. our goverment is completly controlled by these banksters they have no empathy they dont care how many people are homeless or hungry. they want to amass as much wealth as possible for the 1% pleas look into who who lobbys and contributes to the patrys of our goverment. they pay for laws in their favor, like the "too big to fail" crap that the got passed for themselves.....i could go on and on..
Dave in Belfast wrote (922 days ago):
What a shower of layabouts. I hope they get their bru stopped as they are not available work will they are breaking into peoples property. Sent in the police and jail the lot of them.
barney in belfast wrote (923 days ago):
@ Mike Bravo. Who apart from socialists of various shades are kicking up a stink about this? Who is asking for the bankers to be held to account if not the left? The politicians in this country were elected by a minority and thus have no authority. i think its pretty obvious that occupying a working bank would be violently stopped by the police, this abandoned bank nuilding is an excellent choice for occupation. City centre location, space for banners, visibility, association with banking. Time to use some of this empty space in belfast, squat the lot. @ petey rcoole, its a shame your daughter was scared of the protestors masks, how did she feel about the armed police who tried to violently force their way into the building? how would you feel if you lost your job and had your home reposessed, forcefully, by one of the banks your taxes bailed out. Im sure the ten cops would be happy to trail you out of your home. p.s. what disruption? its an empty building
Tomc in Belfast wrote (923 days ago):
When I was a kid I occupied many a derelict building! Go Me! Oh no...that's right....I was just playing in an aul house.....silly me....got carried away there. Symbolism this, Food for thought that, We occupied a building, And looked like a prat. Congratulations Occupy Belfast, well done, if i'd not read it on here i'd never have known. Now lets see, what's entering a building without the owners consent and damaging any part of the property??????....Ah that's it Burglary!
Garth Clark Forsythe III in Belfast wrote (923 days ago):
Bravo Bravo - go protestors - go go go! West Belfast are behind you !
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