Academy Protestors Occupy Ark

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Protestors against the proposed Wembley Academy occupied the London HQ of ARK – the proposed sponsors – who called security guards and the police. The occupiers were elated that they managed to get into the heavily secured building.  Photo credit: GUY SMA
Protestors against the proposed Wembley Academy occupied the London HQ of ARK – the proposed sponsors – who called security guards and the police. The occupiers were elated that they managed to get into the heavily secured building. Photo credit: GUY SMA

A group from ‘Tent City’ occupation in Wembley occupied the London headquarters of ARK (Actual Return for Kids) the proposed sponsors of the Wembley academy.

They gained entry, with a media camera crew and journalists in tow, by carrying a large bouquet of roses and naming a member of the ARK staff to whom they wanted to present it personally.

After signing in for the security pass they were allowed to use the lift to the offices of ARK on the second floor and asked to see the person.

After a few minutes of confusion by the ARK staff as to why they were there, the penny dropped after the ‘occupiers’ held up banners saying, ‘No academy. Save our sports ground’, that this was not quite the visit they thought it was.

The ‘occupiers’ said that they would not leave until they had spoken to the senior ARK representative. This was refused.

The security guard was summoned to no avail and then they said that the police would be called.

The ‘occupiers’ then said please do. The police were then called several times over the next hour before finally four community support officers turned up (they have no powers of arrest other than to make a citizens arrest).

By this time the senior ARK representative who had refused to talk to the protestors earlier was suddenly available for a discussion.

She tried to blame Brent Council for the fact that no meeting about other possible sites had taken place despite ARK promising this in writing.

It was eventually conceded that they would have been prepared to look at other sites than the sports ground, but Brent had blocked this.

She then indicated that they were prepared to look at sites but the how and the when was not made clear.

Jean Roberts said: ‘We will definitely be writing to ARK following this.

‘We have your emails saying you would meet us. It is no good hiding behind Brent. You cannot avoid your responsibility. If you continue along this path our opposition directed at you will escalate.’