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Members of the Occupy movement in London are transforming an abandoned office block into a space to share ideas for how to solve pressing economic, social and environmental problems.
Named The Bank of Ideas, those occupying the site describe the initiative as a “public repossession” of the building, which belongs to Swiss bank, UBS, on Sun Street in Hackney, London.
The occupiers also plan to make the space available for use by community groups, youth clubs, nurseries and other public services that have lost access to premises due to government spending cuts. The vast office complex includes a 500-seat lecture hall.
A no drugs and alcohol policy has been established at the premises and people are asked to be mindful and respectful of how their ideas or actions might effect others, and not engage in financial transactions. “Everyone should feel safe and welcome in the Bank,” the group said in an online statement.
It describes itself as “a community trying to come together to find positive solutions to our current crises.” The group added: “Everyone is warmly welcome and encouraged to come and be part of creating the Bank of Ideas.”
Upcoming events include: a discussion group on setting up free universities, a workshop on debt, a talk on the Arab spring, a clown workshop, a talk by Caroline Lucas MP, yoga, philosophy, film screenings, a photography workshop and sessions on themes such as localisation, ideas for alternative living, fuel poverty, Zero Carbon Britain, social justice, and the occupy movement itself.