As of writing a group of squatters in London have squatted a mansion, 5 Belgrave Square, belonging to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. While residential squatting has been made illegal in the UK, the squatters are trying to get around this by using a version of the Section 6 notice in which they do not live and sleep at the property, but are instead taking turns occupying it as a protest. However, at present the Met Police seem more interested in cracking heads, evicting them, and protecting the property of the Russian ruling class than following their own rules. Full statement from the squatters below:
We hope that these are the first of many such actions, and we hope that this spreads from taking the property of Russian oligarchs to taking the property of all oligarchs so that they can be used to house refugees, the homeless, and anyone else who needs a home.
UPDATE: As of 20:00 it looks like the police have evicted the squat and arrested the squatters and their supporters outside. If you ever want a clear demonstration of what it is the police exist to protect, this is a great example. Protecting private property comes before protecting people, even (or maybe especially) if that property belongs to corrupt oligarchs the cop’s own government are supposedly sanctioning.
Images stolen from @resist_london on twitter, who is tweeting the occupation as it unfolds.