Protesters occupied the council chamber in leeds today to prevent cuts to public services being passed.
Around 100 people, including trade unionists, community activists, school, college and university students, gathered outside Leeds civic hall from 12.30. After about half an hour in the rain, protesters entered the building, pushing against security that attempted to keep them out. Eventually, around 40 people managed to get into the council chambers to prevent the meeting, which was due to start at 1.30. Others took to the public galleries and dropped banners or supported from outside. Banners were draped inside the council chamber and copies of both the meeting agenda and budget that were laid out on each desk were gathered up and taken.
Despite pleas from councilors to end the occupation and instead view the meeting from the public galleries, the group refused to leave and forced the council to attempt to find another room. Whilst a small group stayed inside the main chamber, others who had broken through created disruption in other parts of the building and ensured a meeting could not take place.
After half an hour the council announced the meeting to be abandoned and all the protesters left the building as a group, many having a meeting nearby. However the council reconvened in secret at 3.30. When people arrived to protest they were prevented from entering the building by police, even to observe from the public galleries.