Activists who have occupied Liverpool’s old Bank of England building to provide shelter for the city’s homeless people say they are under siege by police and claim they are being refused delivery of food and water.
Bailiffs had set up fences around the central Liverpool building where anti-austerity Love Activists are staging an occupation after being served with eviction notices on Tuesday.
Police had used a dispersal order to clear supporters away from the building and, the activists said, were now refusing to allow supplies to be taken into the building.
Merseyside police disputed the accusation, saying the activists had been offered bottles of water, which they had declined. Activists had been told they would not be arrested if they left the building peacefully, the force said. A spokeswoman said the police were acting proportionately, and that there were no plans to forcibly evict the activists at the moment.
One of the occupiers, Juliette Edgar, told the Guardian by phone from inside the building that she and her companions were refusing to leave. “We have barricaded all the doors and entrances,” she said. “This is a former Bank of England building, it’s very secure. There are vaults in here.”
Activists claimed police were halting deliveries of supplies even seizing a packet of lozenges a supporter had tried to throw in for one occupier coming down with a cold.
The Love Activists moved into the unoccupied building in the middle of April to set up a support centre for Liverpool’s homeless people, incorporating places to sleep, an advice centre and a street kitchen.