South East Wales

Occupy Cardiff sets up new camp at Transport House

A group of protesters have set up camp outside the Unite union's offices in Cardiff as part of a global movement against banking and big business.

About 12 Occupy Cardiff activists are believed to have spent the night in tents outside Transport House on Cathedral Road, near the city centre.

Police broke up a previous camp at Cardiff Castle earlier this month.

The Unite union, which has its Welsh headquarters at Transport House, said the protesters were very welcome.

Andy Richards, Unite Welsh regional secretary and president of Wales TUC, said: "From our point of view, we know that these people, who are engaged in a peaceful protest... are supporting the very campaign that Unite are engaged in and that's fighting the effects of the Tory and Liberal Democrat government in Wales.

"They are most welcome to camp out on our lawn and can use our facilities for their comfort."

The protesters had met earlier on Saturday near the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff city centre before moving on to the Aneurin Bevan statue in Queen Street.

They later headed to Transport House, which is also home to other unions and the Welsh Labour Party.

Police said there had been no arrests.

Edmund Schluessel, 32, who is part of the campaign but did not spend the night at the camp, said the mood among activists was positive.

"The message, the list of demands we have adopted, are the same as the Occupy London Stock Exchange group," he said.

"We feel that the entire economic and political system is undemocratic and needs complete change.

Supplies of food

"This is the message of society, the 99%, who demand and deserve a change."

He said the group intended to develop the Cardiff camp, bringing laptops to the site, providing a first aider and ensuring there were adequate supplies of food.

"We will be setting up information points to talk to the wider public, but how we achieve the change is something the campaign is meant to provide a discussion space for," he added.

Mr Schluessel, who is a member of the Socialist Party, said the protests were not affiliated to any political party.

A police spokesperson said: "They're basically facilitating a peaceful protest which we fully understand is our duty to facilitate.

"With the location of the protest, we've no concerns about it."

Last week, the Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan said he would allow protesters to shelter overnight in Llandaff Cathedral if they set up camp outside.

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