The spirit of occupation is spreading throughout Cardiff as it was announced today that a group calling themselves The Great Tax Invasion have ‘occupied’ the old Inland Revenue Offices on Westgate Street, in the city centre.
Activists started squatting in the building earlier this week saying their aim is to raise awareness of the amount of empty buildings which they feel should be made available to benefit the community. The occupation was announced with a banner drop while Food Not Bombs South Wales provided vegan soup to people outside the building.
A spokesperson said, “Things are hotting up in this city, we now have an Occupy Cardiff camp on Cathedral Road, the long derelict Tredegar Pub on Clifton Street being transformed by squatters into a cultural centre and now we are reclaiming the Old Inland Revenue Offices as a community centre.
“On Wednesday 30 November many of us will also be joining thousands of striking trade unionists marching through the city. It’s about the needy vs. the greedy, the have-nots taking on the have-yachts!”
“We object to the government neglecting state buildings such as this. We intend to maintain and repair it. Squandered by the state – Squatted by the people.”
The group say they intend to make the building a drug and alcohol free community space used for meetings, arts projects and an alternative media hub.
They also want the occupation of the Inland Revenue building will send out a message about tax justice. “The government is making cuts while allowing big business and the rich to dodge up to £120 billion in taxes every year,” said the spokesperson.
The Occupy movement in London have stated a similar project called the Bank of Ideas in an empty building owned by UBS.
30/11/11 It has emerged that the building is owned by the Welsh Rugby Union and not, as indicated in the quote above, by the government. The group has said they are in negotiations with the owners and all their updates can be found on their blog.