Search

Royal Mint squatters by Tower of London claim they’re being ‘starved out’

14:40 30 December 2015

Defiant... squatters at the Royal Mint give a hand-fist wave from balcony [photo: Ken Mears]

Defiant... squatters at the Royal Mint give a hand-fist wave from balcony [photo: Ken Mears]

Archant

Squatters who have taken over part of the former Royal Mint complex are “under siege” and claim they are being starved out, after slipping into the complex opposite the Tower of London on Monday night.

A note pinned to the entrance of the Royal Mint occupied by squatters [Ken Mears]A note pinned to the entrance of the Royal Mint occupied by squatters [Ken Mears]

The protesters have taken over one of the five Grade II-listed buildings in the complex at Tower Hill and are refusing to leave, although admitting they may not have brought enough to eat with them.

They are campaigning against homelessness would only be turfed out when the owners arrive with a High Court order, they declared.

“We’re in a ‘siege’ position where the security people won’t allow us food,” one squatter identifying himself as Tom Tamilin told the East London Advertiser.

“We have ‘access to leave this building, but not to come back.

Royal Mint... occupied by squatters protesting at luxury properties left empty [photo: Vickie Flores]Royal Mint... occupied by squatters protesting at luxury properties left empty [photo: Vickie Flores]

“No-one is bringing us food—so we’re all going on a strict diet. They want to starve us out.”

Tom, describing himself as a 44-year-old humanist ‘nomad’ from Camden Town who travels the world for a profession, was one of 20 protesters who slipped into Royal Mint Court on Monday.

They are down to half the number, but have not yet been served legal papers to quit.

Their protest is over the five buildings left empty which they say could house 1,000 homeless people.

“There are 104,000 homeless children in this country—with one-and-a-half million empty buildings,” Tom added. “We want the old Royal Mint to be used to house people.

“But it’s also about the financial bubble, the world of finance, keeping luxury properties empty to keep values high.”

The protesters have already had one brush with security contractors who they claim turfed out squatters from one building without court papers—until police arrived and advised that a court order would be needed.

“We need out day in court,” Tom demanded.

Meanwhile, they have mains water supplies, although the owners slipped them a note yesterday advising that it hadn’t been tested in a while and “might not be safe”.

That didn’t wash with the protesters, who are boiling the water before drinking—just in case. Only food was not getting through.

“We didn’t think they would starve us out,” Tom admits. “We thought we’d have right of passage, but they control the yard. If we leave, we can’t get back.”

The five-acre Royal Mint Court has five listed buildings including the one being occupied. It is no longer used by the Royal Mint following re-location to Lombard Street in the City in 2000, but has been earmarked for redevelopment as a business complex.

The last coins minted at Tower Hill were in the 1970s, when production was shifted to South Wales.

Latest East London News Stories

Yesterday, 23:55
Cockney Sparras sword swallowing

The people were out on the streets for a right ole’ cockney ‘Roman’ festival in London’s East End.

Sunday, July 24, 2016
Sir Derek Jacobi with Heartstone director Sita Kumari at the Whitechapel unveiling with Osmani Trust director Shafiur Rahman

A photo-documentary exhibition about real life on the streets of London’s East End has been unveil by Sir Derek Jacobi on the London Underground.

Friday, July 22, 2016
Rosemary Lane rag fair, 1730s [Rowlandson's watercolour]

Ambitious plans are on the drawing board to revive a traditional East End street market near the Tower of London that vanished more than 150 years ago.

Friday, July 22, 2016
Fun day barbecue on the Isle of Dogs' Union Wharf housing estate

Families on a housing estate in London’s Docklands half-way through its reconstruction have still managed to hold their annual summer fete with music and barbecue during Wednesday’s heatwave.

Thursday, July 21, 2016
Delighted children at Bow Arts exhibition (photos: Rob Harris]

An education charity developing the next generation of artists with a schools programme in east London that puts creative learning back in the classroom has put on its first year’s partnership exhibition of the youngsters’ artwork.

Thursday, July 21, 2016
Bethnal Green Academy pupils visiting Cern centre in Switzerland

School pupils studying A-Level physics in London’s East End have returned from a trip to the CERN European Organization for Nuclear Research centre in Geneva.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016
John Biggs... attacking Housing Act

The Mayor of London’s most deprived borough with the longest housing waiting list has today launched a blistering attack on the government’s Housing and Planning Act which he warns is killing off “affordable housing” in inner city districts.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Helal Abbas... calls for head teacher at Ian Mikado to resign

Protesters are handing in a petition tonight to Tower Hamlets council over the appointment of a once-convicted killer as a classroom assistant in an east London special school.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now