Europe

Homelessness activists evicted from pricey mansion in London

  • Court appointed bailiffs control access to a building as people are evicted from a large mansion in Eaton Square, a fashionable part of London near Buckingham Palace, on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. British authorities have evicted a group of squatters who moved into a vacant mansion in one of London's priciest neighborhoods to draw attention to the problem of homelessness. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

    Court appointed bailiffs control access to a building as people are evicted from a large mansion in Eaton Square, a fashionable part of London near Buckingham Palace, on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. British authorities have evicted a group of squatters who moved into a vacant mansion in one of London's priciest neighborhoods to draw attention to the problem of homelessness. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)  (The Associated Press)

  • Court appointed bailiffs control access to a building as people are evicted from a large mansion in Eaton Square, a fashionable part of London near Buckingham Palace, on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. British authorities have evicted a group of squatters who moved into a vacant mansion in one of London's priciest neighborhoods to draw attention to the problem of homelessness. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

    Court appointed bailiffs control access to a building as people are evicted from a large mansion in Eaton Square, a fashionable part of London near Buckingham Palace, on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. British authorities have evicted a group of squatters who moved into a vacant mansion in one of London's priciest neighborhoods to draw attention to the problem of homelessness. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)  (The Associated Press)

  • Court appointed bailiffs control access to a building as people are evicted from a large mansion in Eaton Square, a fashionable part of London near Buckingham Palace, on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. British authorities have evicted a group of squatters who moved into a vacant mansion in one of London's priciest neighborhoods to draw attention to the problem of homelessness. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

    Court appointed bailiffs control access to a building as people are evicted from a large mansion in Eaton Square, a fashionable part of London near Buckingham Palace, on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. British authorities have evicted a group of squatters who moved into a vacant mansion in one of London's priciest neighborhoods to draw attention to the problem of homelessness. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)  (The Associated Press)

British authorities have evicted a group of squatters who moved into a vacant mansion in one of London's priciest neighborhoods to draw attention to the problem of homelessness.

Police and bailiffs descended on the five-story town house in posh Eaton Square at dawn on Wednesday after a court ruled that the squatters could be evicted.

About a dozen people emerged from the house with bags of clothes and blankets and boxes of food.

Activists calling themselves the Autonomous Nation of Anarchist Libertarians had occupied the property for about a week.

Housing campaigners say thousands of London homes are unoccupied, many of them owned by wealthy overseas investors.

British media have reported that the Eaton Square property is owned by Russian banker Andrey Goncharenko.