This site is easier to read in landscape format on mobiles.

Protest over 'Occupy Lancaster' police arrests

John Freeman
Photo: Occupy LancasterSupporters of Occupy Lancaster have been demonstrating outside Lancaster Police Station this morning, at what they describe as the illegal arerst and eviction of activists who had entered Lancaster's derelict Railton Hotel.

As we reported earlier, Four people have been arrested after a group of Occupy activists were removed from the disused hotel close to Lancaster by police, afterfinding a group of protesters had barricaded themselves inside the building.

The national Guardian reports that friends of those involved in the occupation claimed they had displayed notices saying they were legally occupying a disused building under squatting law. A group of people later marched to a police station and have posted footage of the police action.

The four arrested at the Railton are being held on suspicion of criminal damage are two men from Lancaster aged 30 and 4:, another man, 48, from Morecambe, and a woman, 28, from Lancaster.

"Yesterday the police illegally evicted a squat at the Railton Hotel. Once again the police are the first to break the law," claims supporter Will Taylor in a posting on Facebook promoting the police station demonstration.

"Criminal damage?" asked another supporter on Twitter. "What's left to damage?"

In a statement to virtual-lancaster, police denied they had acted illegally. "We suspected that criminal offences had been committed, namely criminal damage to the property, and therefore arrests have been made," said a spokepserson.

Protesters claim they were in the property and had a legal notice which said they were, legally, under section 6 of the Criminal Law Act allowed to remain in the building and any attempt to remove them would be against the law.

The Railton action, promoted via Twitter last week, follows the Occupy Lancaster action in Dalton Square before Christmas when protesters camped out until Christmas Eve, following last year's strikes and marches over pay and pension reforms in the public sector.

Occupy Lancaster on Twitter