Ian Bone of Class War and ‘persons unknown’ are threatened by the owners of the Shard with a court injunction preventing them from protesting in front of Western Europe’s tallest building. The protest was called for in response to recent news that all 10 of the multimillion-pound apartments near the top of the 95- storey building remain empty six years after the tower opened. The posh flats have a price tag of up to £50 million each.
The injunction was filed with the High Court less than 48 hours after Ian Bone asked on his Facebook: ‘Anyone know where the entrance for the luxury apartments at the Shard is?’ He added: ‘We are starting weekly actions – Thursdays 6-8pm starting Feb 8th.’ This apparently concerned the Shard owners enough to set their barristers on Ian: an old-age pensioner. The lawyers representing the owners of the skyscraper also request Ian Bone, an old age pensioner, to pay legal costs.
The important part of the court papers delivered to Bone is a statement from the Shard head of security, who happens to be an ex- copper with 30 years experience with the police. He states that the planned protest was brought to his attention by ‘a contact in the Metropolitan Police’. In rather dramatic statement he claims that the defendants intend to test Shard’s security andt hat it puts at risk of exposing the building’s security flaws and potential vulnerabilities to terrorists and others with criminal intent. He plays the terrorist card further by stating that the protest will interfere with the critical work the building’s security is undertaking in relation to counter terrorism at a time when the threat of terrorist attack in the UK is considered as severe. He also describes Ian Bone as well- known anarchist. Later, the claimants produce the evidence in which Class Was is described as ‘far-left, pro-anarchy pseudo political party’.
The Shard is owned by Qatari royal family via a Jersey registered company. The Qatari royals are also the owners of numerous other prestigious London properties, such as Harrods, a massive £200m-plus Regent’s Park palace, the Olympic village and half of One Hyde Park: the world’s most expensive apartment block. The former emir of Qatar scored 7th place on the list of the World’s richest royals. His fortune is estimated at £1.72 billion, and the The Sovereign Fund managed by the top circle of the Qatari royal family is estimated at approx £240 billion. The family currently owns more property in London than the Windsors.
Ian Bone is due to appear in court this Thursday: the same day as the planned protest. Talking to Freedom News, he said: ‘from Brixton Arches to Pret a Manger Ladbroke Grove its been a good week for anti-gentrification in London – now the acting and publicity at the Shard gives us an opportunity to push things further.’
The protest is still going ahead.