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Group who have occupied Gaddafi house in Hampstead Garden Suburn say they are doing it for the Libyan people
1:46pm Thursday 10th March 2011 in News
SQUATTERS who have moved into a house owned by the Gaddafi family in Hampstead Garden Suburb say they will stay until it is returned to the Libyan people.
The £11m Winnington Close mansion, bought in 2009 by Saif Gaddafi, the Libyan dictator’s second son, has been overrun by protesters from a range of countries.
People have been going in and out of the house all morning and at one point the group allowed two senior Barnet policemen in to speak to them about their concerns.
Police have no power to evict the group as squatting is a civil matter.
Earlier two spokesmen for the group, one form Libya and one from Iran, spoke to the dozens of assembled reporters and news crews from as far afield as Japan and Holland, as well as Libyan state media.
They said: “We have done this to support the Libyan people against Gaddafi. We believe this house belongs to the people.
“We’re not going to leave until we make sure this is being occupied by Libyan people or has been sold and the money sent back to Libya. This house was bought with the Libyan people’s money.
“Some people from Libya don’t have somewhere to live. A house worth this much could make a lot of homes for a lot of people. “ When asked about concerns the squatter would trash the house he replied: “I’m a Libyan and I do care about it. People are not going to trash my own house or one that belongs to the Libyan people.”
The house was originally occupied by a group of English, Australian and French squatters, who extended an invitation to Libyan people to join them.
One English occupant described the interior of the house as “opulent” but said there were no personal belongings of the family’s inside, except a pile of photographs in one room.
However, the group have refused to let any photographers or journalists inside the house, saying it was a joint decision.
It is just off Winnington Road, the seventh most expensive street in Britain, with two properties owned by the Sultan of Brunei a stone’s throw away.
Dr Saul Zadka, a Garden Suburb resident, welcomed the squatters and said he backs what they are doing.
He told the Times Series: “I approve of it, I think they are good people, not just homeless people looking for somewhere free to live.
“I was here half an hour after they got in yesterday and I have been speaking with them all of today.”