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A handful of members of an organisation called the Leicester Homelessness Party have been camped on Jubilee Square in the city centre since before Christmas.
Now they say they are moving their demonstration into the confines of the 15th Century Wygston’s House in the edge of the £4 million square – a short distance from where they have erected a camp of tents right outside the BBC Radio Leicester office.
The locks on the city council-owned Medieval property were filled with glue yesterday.
Notices were nailed to the doors and shutters of the building announcing the group’s intention to take occupancy of the building.
Lead protester James McLean insisted he did not know who had tampered with the locks but said he had put a heavy-duty motorbike chain around the main gates to secure them.
“We intend to squat in area outside the building,” he said. “We will be moving in tomorrow.
“We will stay until Central Government actually does something meaningful to help homeless people who are dying on the streets.”
Mr McLean said “persons unknown” had glued the locks.
“The people of Leicester have a right to use it.
“We won’t be going inside but we will be putting up a shack inside the gates but we will be keeping the tents on the square.
“We have done this for out security.
“The homeless people sleeping here are still being threatened.
“We are being told our tents will be petrol-bombed while we sleep inside them.
“Leicester’s rich have their gated communities. Now Leicester’s homeless will have their own gated community.”
However, the Mercury spoke to several members of the public passing through the area who felt the protest had gone too far.
John Francis, 60, from South Wigston said: “I think they have made their point but now they are in danger of just winding people up.
“Sympathy only goes so far.”
The city council has agreed to lease Wygston’s House to the owners of the nearby Taps bar.
It has been largely disused for years but the plan is to convert it into a restaurant bar.
Mr McLean, 38, is being prosecuted for trespass in relation to his current protest and is due to appear at Leicester County Court later this month.
He has also denied a charge of failing to comply with a police dispersal order in September in relation to a similar protest.
source: Leicester Mercury