Royal Mint squatters ordered by High Court to leave complex

Published: Thursday 31st December 2015 by The News Editor

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A group of anti-capitalist squatters have been ordered by the High Court to leave the former Royal Mint complex opposite the Tower of London.

The 20-50 strong group said they had taken over one of the Grade II-listed buildings in the City of London property on December 28 in protest over Britain’s homelessness problem.

But a judge ruled two companies who are the leaseholders were entitled to possession of the whole of the Royal Mint Court property “forthwith”.

The judge had been told there were fears of the buildings being invaded by hundreds of more trespassers for a New Year’s Eve rave, risking civil disturbance and a huge costs bill.

Law student Jed Miller, who works for an advisory service for squatters, said the protesters had taken over the Johnson Smirke building within the complex.

He questioned the claims by lawyers acting for the leaseholding companies – RMC LH Co. Ltd. and RM Site Management Ltd – that an illegal rave was being planned.

Mr Miller asked Mr Justice Henry Carr, sitting at London’s High Court, to adjourn the application for possession, saying the squatters’ right to protest under human rights laws was being infringed and they needed more time to instruct lawyers to put their case before the courts.

He said the buildings were currently surrounded by security staff who were well able to prevent any attempt to hold a rave.

Granting an order for possession, the judge rejected all the squatters’ legal arguments and said if he had allowed an adjournment “there is a real risk that an illegal rave would take place”.

He said: “There would be a continuing risk to health and safety and it would enable the occupation to achieve its objective of a rave simply by a request for an adjournment.

“I am not prepared to allow that to happen.”

Published: Thursday 31st December 2015 by The News Editor

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