An opulent London home belonging to one of Moammar Gadhafi's sons was taken over by squatters last week who have vowed to stay put until the dictator is ousted. This week, Laurie Penny gets a tour. The activists, who have links to Libyan rebels, have opened up Seif al Islam Gadhafi's $17 million mansion to Libyan refugees, saying the property was bought with "blood money" and belongs to the Libyan people. And what a mansion it is, she writes in the New Statesman.
Everything in the four-floor home is white: the marble floors, the pristine walls. Beneath the kitchen sits a pool, Jacuzzi, and sauna. A private theater is decked out in suede. She speaks to a man sitting on a white leather couch; they drink tea in good china, and eat sandwiches using silver cutlery; nearly every room has a flat-screen TV—tuned to al-Jazeera. Authorities have been keeping their distance, though the occupiers say a well-dressed Arab man recently arrived and offered them money to leave. "No amount of money could make us leave this house. It's not a financial issue," one of the squatters tells her.