|Entrance to the Hobo Hilton|
|Entrance to the Hobo Hilton|
A successful eviction resistance in Hackney squatters’ local ‘The Screw’ this morning. Despite an overwhelming early start to the resistance (a plethora of bailiffs and private security guards with very angry dogs) the numbers of the resistance gradually swelled to an impressive 30/35 strong crowd. After a two hour standoff, numerous cups of tea and slices of melon, the forces of darkness eventually left the derelict pub and it’s occupants in peace – much to the delight of the resistance!
A much needed success considering the newly opened ‘Cuts Cafe’ was evicted yesterday evening after harassment from the Met and riot police. At first they threatened to storm the building and arrest folk for abstraction of electricity. Although when presented with evidence that the group had spoke to an energy company earlier that day they changed their minds… They were now adamant that the group were committing aggravated trespass and thus felt the need to call 3 vans of riot cops. Proportionate.
So. Although no arrests were made, the building was emptied and re-secured by security. The police often use the offence of aggravated trespass as a way of getting people out of buildings. In the case of the cuts cafe, the building was empty. There were no signs that it was in use. The cops claimed that there were meetings scheduled there though for ‘sometime in the future’. So. Aggravated trespass. Were these people really committing this offence? Or were these empty threats? Judge for yourself.
a. Aggravated trespass (section 68, Criminal justice and public order act 1994)
‘(1) A person commits the offence of aggravated
trespass if he trespasses on land and, in relation to any
lawful activity which persons are engaged in on the
land, does there anything which is intended by him to have the effect of:
(a) intimidating those persons or any of them so as to
deter them or any of them from engaging in that
(b) obstructing that activity
(c) disrupting that activity’
The section goes on to define ‘lawful activity’ as an
activity which can be engaged in without committing
an offence or trespassing on land.’ So if the activity
wasn’t lawful or there was no actual activity taking
place then you will have a defence.
This offence can only be tried in the magistrates court.
The maximum penalty is 3 months imprisonment, a
fine of up to £2,500, or both. First timers would probably get a fine in the region of £200-300.
(Courtesy of www.activistslegalproject.org.uk)
First eviction resistance in Cardiff in over a decade ongoing at the Gremlin Alley Squatted Social centre in Cardiff. Here’s the latest update:
UPDATE – 3pm
Latest update is that cops scaled down to between two and five in the last hour and have just been stood across the road with two bailiffs and the janitor. No attempt at entry so far.
Still several squatters on the roof, wearing masks, and a few people still outside, but not as many as before.
Passing cars have been supportive, with one woman apparently saying “don’t move, stay strong!”
And the house over the road, near where the cops are standing, is playing Public Enemy, Rage against the Machine and CRASS loudly through the upstairs window! Last we heard the Autonomads had just been requested, but folks on the roof are after black paint to make signs to save shouting requests across the road and food is also welcomed (vegan if possible).
Photos from the day due up shortly…but more to come as they haven’t gone…
And thanks for the messages of support received from places ranging from Swansea to Brighton!
Solidarity to all squatters and Alex Haigh!
Here’s the Indymedia article from this morning:
**UPDATE** 4PM New Pic!
After an all day rooftop standoff, Police and bailiffs have finally left the property and the residents remain in their home. We heard there are rooftop celebrations ongoing which will very likely continue for a good while! Another successful resistance for the UK squatting community in these difficult times. Big up to the Cardiff squat collective – today you really showed them that whatever they say…..
After an exhausting few weeks of evictions, arrests, scuffles with the police and dodgy internet connections we’re finally able to update the blog again. So, lots has been going on here’s a quick round up:
FRIERN BARNET LIBRARY
As most of you will be aware, Friern Barnet Public Library, which was closed down due to cuts, has been reopened and given back to the community. They had court last week and managed to get an adjournment for three weeks. They had poetry and spoken word workshops last Sat followed by a jam session which the local residents got involved in. Big up Friern Barnet Crew!!!
**Book donations and volunteers greatly appreciated!**
LASPO? FUCK NO! LET OUR GUY GO!!
Alex Haigh, 21, of London is currently serving a 12 weeks sentence at Wormwood Scrubs for the ‘offence’ of squatting in a residential building. This has saddened the squatting community greatly. So, lets get pens and paper out and send him some messages of solidarity. The newly formed Squatters Legal Network are collecting in messages of support. Give them a shout if you want to send him something.
A rather wet squattastic happened a few Sundays ago in Waterloo. Torrential rain meant many were not able to attend but cheers to those who did. A member of Greentech did a workshop on off grid energy which was really informative and useful – solar panels are the way forward! There was then a intergroup meeting between various squat related groups about how the new legislation is kicking in. The next Squattastic date was decided but we’ve lost one of our diaries somewhere in squatworld so can’t actually put it up here. Will post date/location asap.
SOLIDARITY TO ALL!
To finish, we want to say a massive thank you to all those who have been rushed off their feet the last few weeks protecting our community from homelessness and arrest. From commercial squats who are providing shelter to residential squats thrown out on the streets to individuals who are using their free time support other crews in finding a place to live. Massive respect to all. Together we are so much stronger.
It’s been a rough few weeks and many of us are exhausted by recent events. The governments attack on our peaceful community has caused so much unnecessary havoc and stress. When times are tough remember that the community is here and it’s stronger than ever. Have a read of this article it made us remember exactly why we’re doing what we do and why its so worth fighting for. Much love to all.