Police gather outside the former bank on Castle street occupied by Love Activists
Police returned to the occupied former Bank of England building Thursday hours after Love Activists resisted eviction.
Just before 8pm a police van turned up at the rear of the building and officers took up positions around all sides of the building.
The police helicopter hovered overhead for a while as a number of activists appeared on the roof while others were on the balcony and around 20 stood in front of the doors to the building.
Earlier bailiffs arrived at the door of the listed building which has been occupied since April 18 by protesters who have turned it into an illegal homeless shelter.
They were accompanied by several police officers at about 2.50pm and knocked on the door twice before retreating.Protesters had been waiting for the bailiffs to turn up from noon after they were served an Interim Possession Order.
There were dramatic scenes as activists used red and green smoke cannisters in their protest.
A supporter of the campaign, Rebecca Cutts, said: “The support for this has been absolutely amazing. People have been given new clothing, there have been 50 here who have been sheltered. This bank has been empty for for the last three-and-a-half years. People who have been sitting in there will be back on the streets.”
A homeless man said: “I feel we were treated unjustly in court. We were denied a hearing. I’m in a brand new set of clothes, I’ve been getting three meals a day. I’m healthier, I feel better in myself since being here.
“The issue is there’s not adequate things that can replace this place. These people genuinely care. They haven’t done it for monetary gain- they don’t care about money.
“It should be celebrated. It shouldn’t be demonized. It’s an absolute disgrace.”
From the balcony, another homeless man shouted: “Where are you Joe Anderson? I’d love to swap lives with you.”
One spectactor told the ECHO: ““They had good intentions for a worthy cause. But the use of anarchy has tarnished that cause.”
Earlier the activists called for a meeting with Mayor Joe Anderson by the end of the week as part of a list od demands that included Merseyside Labour councils and Joe Anderson rejecting cuts and austerity measures.The Mayor’s office did not comment on the list of demands but a council spokesman said: “We commission the Whitechapel Centre to offer support for rough sleepers in Liverpool, and they have been visiting the building over the last few days to identify any support that people who are there may need.“Outreach workers are on the streets every night identifying vulnerable people, getting them into services and helping turn their lives around. People who are sleeping rough and need support can visit the Whitechapel Centre on Langsdale Street, and anyone who sees someone sleeping rough should contact the No Second Night Out hotline on 0300 123 2041.”The bank building has been occupied since April 18, and activists appeared at Liverpool Civil Court yesterday where they were served an Interim Possession Order, which means the property must be vacated within 24 hours or the police can make them leave.