It started with the kind of generous idea only Scrooge himself would have a problem with. Having occupied London’s Cavell House, the vacant former RBS head office, the Love Activists, a collective of homeless radicals who combine the revolutionary eloquence of Tyler Durden with the constructive community spirit of Emmet from The Lego Movie, announced its plan to serve Christmas dinner for the estimated 6,000 street homeless in London.
On Christmas Eve, owners of the building, Greencap – a defunct Jersey-registered company – obtained an emergency possession order, which led to a dramatic eviction, ignoring a pending court case to decide the legal status of the occupation.
Images of core Love Activists, including Danny Freeman, balancing precariously on one of the building’s tiny balconies (see previous page) to buy time for their pro bono legal team to overturn the order, leads to a mass outpouring of support from the press and public, with even the Daily Mail supporting their efforts.
An out-of-hours judge agrees to review the case, finding in the Love Activists’ favour, but police employ delaying tactics to prevent the group re-entering the building. Instead, they pitch up on the pavement opposite and distribute public donations of food, clothes and sleeping bags until the new year. For them, eviction is an occupational inevitability. And this is only the beginning.