Category Archives: demonstration

INCREASE IN EVICTIONS; UPSURGE IN RESISTANCE

**cross posted from rabble.org.uk**

DECEMBER 4, 2014

Just as the number of evictions in England and Wales soar to the highest levels since records began 14 years ago – up to 11,000 repossessions from July-September (that’s well over 100 per day) – it seems that housing struggles are also on the up again.

Map of London estates facing eviction

A show of solidarity prevented the eviction of a Newham mum and her three kids this morning, when a load of comrades confronted the bailiffs at the house, outnumbering them five to one. The bailiffs left and a meeting was arranged with the housing association, Notting Hill Housing, who agreed not to take any further action until January and to try and have the family re-homed in the borough asap.

Later in the day, a group called Lewisham Homeless Person’s Union confronted paper pushers and security guards at the council offices in Catford, demanding housing for the hundreds of homeless people in the borough. Security blocked access to most, but 3 people were able to meet with bureaucrats, the results if any of which are not yet known.

New Era 4 All is a campaign by residents of the New Era housing estate in Hoxton to keep their rents down. Tenancies there have been made more precarious since their homes were bought by the filthy rich scumbag private equity firm, Westbrook Partners, who are trying to raise rents there in line with market rates of the area, which would mean tenants paying around £2,400 a month. Residents and supporters marched to Westbrook’s offices in central London yesterday and handed them a petition to stop the rent hikes, supported by over 250, 000 signatures.

This new wave of energy is no doubt thanks in part to the tenacity and success of theFocus E15 mums campaign, which began after Newham Council cut funding to a hostel for vulnerable young mothers and their kids. The campaign led to the families getting re-homed in the borough and the creation of a temporary social centre from occupied homes on the Carpenters Estate, which became a hub of skill sharing and plotting for the two weeks of its existence. The Carpenters Estate itself is in the process of slowly being depopulated and demolished, but the publicity generated by the occupation led to some, short term, concessions being won – Newham Council agreed to house 40 people on the estate on a temporary basis.

We’ve also seen public sabotage from the Black Revs, who smothered anti-homeless spikes with concrete, while Class War picked a good target with 19 weeks of dogged protests against poor doors at the yuppie flats of One Commercial Street, forcing the owners into talks. In October, there was a roudy mobilisation against the MIPIM property fair/plunder in Kensington, as well as a counter conference.

The following month there was some good news for squatters too, as four more s144 defendants were acquitted when it proved too difficult for the prosecution to show that the property was designed or adapted for residential use before the occupation. See theAdvisory Service for Squatters for more on this.

Housing Action Lambeth & Southwark (HASL), who do grassroots solidarity work with people most screwed over by landlords, have issued a callout to support T and her family, who are facing homelessness by Southwark Council, at 2pm on Monday 8th at London Bridge. You can also join HASL’s eviction phone network here.

The E15 mums are holding a New Year’s Eve party to celebrate the energy, support and victories of the past year. They are inviting anyone who’d like to get active in this stuff and make more victories in 2015.

Successful eviction resistance this morning

AVON & SOMERSET POLICE: FOUL PLAY

66 Queen Square, site of tonight's illegal eviction by Avon & Somerset police
66 Queens Square Bristol, site of Tuesday’s illegal eviction

Disturbing reports yesterday of yet another unlawful eviction having taken place. In the earlier hours of Tuesday morning, members of the Avon and Somerset police force decided  to evict a group of young squatters on the grounds that they were ‘trespassing’. They stated that squatting had become illegal and that they now had the power to evict the building.

They didn’t. Section 6 of the criminal law act 1977 still applies; entrance by force or by threat of force to a persons residence is still a criminal offence. The inhabitants of the former building society in Bristol had committed no crime, they are were simply occupying an abandoned building and this is still completely lawful. Although the offence of squatting in residential buildings has been passed, it has not yet been enacted. This means the police have no power at all to evict/arrest under this new offence.


Three complaints have been made against the officers who were involved in this incident. We’ll keep you updated on how these complaints progress. The squatters resquatted the property shorty after the police left and to our knowledge they are still there. Respect!


For more info check the indymedia article:


http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2012/08/498995.html


HACKNEY RESISTANCE

The forces of darkness stalled by a peaceful demonstration outside the squatted property. On talking to the occupants we learnt that the building had been empty for 13 years and it had now been put back into use as a home for fourteen individuals. A hearty cooked breakfast was enjoyed by the 50 strong turn out and there was much celebration when the bailiffs decided not to go ahead with the eviction. This resistance was back in May, to our knowledge the property still remains squatted to this day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

NEWS OF EVICTIONS AND A PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

Once again the corporate 0lympics have outdone themselves in the exclusion of local people;both the BBC and Al Jazeera  have taken over a number of the upper floors in  two residential tower blocks overlooking the olympic site. The residents being temporarily moved. In the spirit of exclusion ER believes the council have turned a blind eye to this.

Private security now control entry to the tower blocks for all residents.This control is so total that residents  have been denied access to their homes because of an apparent security breach at the BBC  suite or residents home as ER would like to call it.When police were called to the scene you will not be surprised to find they sided with the private security, further denying access to legitimate residents.There was no security breach, but ER fully expect the residents  to be further excluded during the corporate games.

A source has told ER there are plans to further gentrify  the Stratford area with the demolition of the two tower blocks, with the land being made available for yet more corporate development and greed at the expense of local people. Watch this space for further updates.


‘But I just popped out to get some milk!!!’