Category Archives: bailiffs

Southwark residents resist eviction!

Congratulations to Southwark residents for another successful eviction resistance! Here’s what happened on the day….

**Crossposted from **

We’ve stopped the eviction, now Southwark – stop trying to make people homeless!


This morning over 50 local people came together to stop the eviction of Aminata and her family from their temporary accommodation by Southwark council. Even though bailiffs had told the family they would arrive at 8am, they had coordinated beforehand with police to evict them at 11am. Lots of people returned to scupper the bailiffs plans and prevent the eviction. Another important win with collective action!

The eviction attempt was being watched over by the head of temporary housing at Southwark Council. He refused to speak to Sky News about why he had come to watch a family get evicted by police and bailiffs and he offered no solution that did not result in further homelessness for Animata and her family.

This was gross behaviour from Southwark council – calling police and bailiffs on local residents and using their staff time to come and watch a family be turfed onto the street. We were able to stop the bailiffs today but Aminata and her family were served with a court notice that puts them under 24/7 threat of eviction – another sickening move by the council. Southwark council need to stop this threat, drop their ‘intentionally homeless’ decision and continue to house the family until suitable social housing is given to them.

Why are Southwark council trying to make people who are already homeless, homeless again?

Aminata and her family, like all of us, needs secure, truly affordable and quality social housing. We must keep the pressure on Southwark council to drop their claims on ‘intentionally homeless’ and to continue to house the family until suitable social housing is provided.

Join us tweeting Southwark council and Councillor for housing Richard Livingstone.

Help us to organise an action to show our support for the family and tell Southwark council that no one is intentionally homeless! Get in touch and keep a watch on our website and social media.


Waltham Forest Resist Eviction!

On Tuesday 29th September at 8.00am, the forces of darkness descended on a property in Ilford to evict a family of three.  To their surprise, they were met by a group of Waltam residents standing peacefully but assertivately in front of the house. On realising what they were up against, threats were made and the police  called. Yet, the Waltham community stood firm in their solidarity and prevented the eviction from taking place, keeping the family housed.

Communities coming together to support and defend eachother against the cruelty and injustice of the London housing market. Is this the beginning of the end of the housing crisis?

Here’s some inspiring video footage of the resistance, please share widely.



Bailiffs sent packing by Barnet community power!

** Cross posted from**

Bailiffs sent away! Mostafa still at Sweets Way!

On Monday, people kept a family from being evicted and pushed a council to reverse the decision that would have left them homeless. But we need to keep up the pressure to keep Mostafa and the family safe.

SWN20 (9 of 38)

Photo by Hannah Nicklin

On Sunday night, many of us didn’t go to sleep. Bailiffs were due at 46 Sweets Way and because we had seen what Mostafa and his family had gone through, and we had seen them failed over and over again by the various systems that are meant to protect them, we knew we needed to prepare with them to stay in their home.

We were prepared to do everything peaceful within our power to stop High Court bailiffs from entering the home of the last family at Sweets Way and making them homeless. Some of us planned to take photos and document the experience, others were prepared to take civil disobedience and face arrest.

But whatever kind of action we spent the night before preparing to do, we prepared to do it because it was right.

As it turned out, there were enough of us there that sending away the bailiffs proved to only require a very passive form of resistance: being there! Enough of us, even, that they didn’t show their faces or even make an attempt to breach the gauntlet of more than 60 people (including allies from Our West Hendon, Barnet Housing Action, Haringey Housing Action Group, Barnet Alliance for Public Services and Black Dissidents) and an extensive array of amateur barricading.

In fact, we only even found out that the bailiffs had come and gone when we called Barnet Council’s lawyers. We asked if the bailiffs were still scheduled to arrive and were told that the two of them that had been dispatched knew immediately they were no match for our collective power, and left. (They didn’t use exactly those words…).

You could feel the sense of collective power in the air – we knew what we had achieved, and the energy was electric! A group of regular people had sent away the bailiffs and kept a family in their home! And we knew we would be able to do it again.

Better yet, as Barnet had been punishing the family over the a small amount of rent arrears accrued since the Council unexpectedly cut their housing benefit, they received a message this afternoon informing them that their housing benefit had been reinstated, retroactive a month ago. This will address their arrears and allow Barnet to once again own up to their responsibility to house the family appropriately.

This is a clear victory spurred by our collective action to highlight the Council’s many failures to Mostafa, and the number of media requests that came off the back of our action. Once again, Barnet need to find the family somewhere to go. And it’s up to us to make sure they have a home until the point where they have an alternative that truly meets their needs.

This will require a lot of work from all of us, preparing to fight off the bailiff threat whenever it rears its ugly head. High Court bailiffs don’t normally offer a time or date when they are coming, and are entitled to use physical force to enter and remove families from a house. Because of this, Mostafa and the family remain barricaded in and ready for an attack.

We need to be there with them.

We have a strong contingent of occupiers staying around Sweets Way at the moment, but we need more people who can stay there (or who live very locally) in the coming days, to ensure an initial line of defence when bailiffs do return. It would be tragic if all our hard work yesterday was lost because a few of us slept late one day.

Get in touch if you live within in a few minutes of the estate, or can come stay over during the coming days. sweetswayresists[AT]gmail[DOT]com / 07812 372 298

We are all inspired by what we were able to do yesterday – let’s be sure it continues to grow!

PS – having made it through many months of intense campaigning without any way of receiving cash donations beyond the bits of cash visitors would sometimes pass along, we have set-up a PayPal account and would appreciate any help in covering some of the extra costs that several of us incurred, personally, during the People’s Regeneration Show Home project. Thank you so much!


Supporter of Trace (Lambeth) goes door knocking to create Eviction resistance phone tree

After yesterday’s eviction resistance action in support of 35 years resident Trace in Lambeth, supporters went door knocking in the neighbourhood, to create a phone tree for resisting future eviction attempts.

Housing activists stop Lambeth bailiffs evicting a disabled woman - in photos - Lillieshall Road, London SW4 0LP, April 2015

This followup action was initiated by a single supporter:

“I went down there again today on what turned out to be a false alarm this time. A police van was seen driving past and Trace asked for people to come in case the bailiffs came after the reconnaissance.   I decided to use the time to do a little more than sit around to see if the bailiffs were going to turn up. I said I was going to canvas her neighbours to build a list of people who could be part of a rapid response if the bailiffs did turn up. A couple of other people said they would canvas as well.

I did one street over from where Trace lives. Most doors I knocked nobody answered, probably at work or too elderly to open the door to a stranger without an appointment. Those who did answer I explained I had come over from Herne Hill on what was a false alarm and what we were trying to do was build a rapid response team of local people who if they were around could lend support at short notice. Of the seven people I did speak to, six of them agreed to give their phone numbers and said they would walk round to Trace’s if they received a text saying the bailiffs were there.

The other people who went canvassing got an equally good response. This is an example of what building a movement means in practice, not relying on a small number of activists who will burn themselves out trying to respond to everything.”

Single tenant stops eviction with “calm assertiveness that something can’t possible be right”

A single tenant in London stopped his eviction a few days ago, non-violently and with “calm assertiveness”.

In his own words:

“I had the bailiff turn up yesterday to enforce the eviction, I explained that I thought the order was not valid as I had been to court and found out that all the previous paperwork had gone to the wrong address and I had been told by the court to submit this in an email.

The bailiff explained that being told by a clerk on the inquiries line is not the same as getting a ruling from a judge and therefore the eviction order was still valid. I explained that it cannot possibly be right to grant an order for repossession without the right to a hearing in court to contest it. He said that is what you put a defense claim form in for. I said the clerk had not told me this. He said clerks are not qualified to give legal advice, your solicitor should have told you what to do.

I insisted that without the basis for the judgement how could I contest it and that had been posted to the wrong address. He said it was his discretion and since I had made efforts to contact the court he wasn’t going to enforce the eviction now – but I should speak to my lawyer again.

Then he left and when I spoke to the estate manager/caretaker later he said that previously people had lost their tempers with the bailiff but a calm assertiveness that something can’t possibly be right works much better. I had a hammer behind the door though if they had turned up in force to change the locks.

I feel I’m still angry they can treat people like this, to them it is just another property to me it is my home. But it buys me more time, I’m not going to make it easy for these b***ards. I’m still determined to fight them in whatever way I can.”


And a few more words about his future resistance:

We have a group started and a day of action planned for with banners, press and the invite will go out for everyone to join us. The whole estate (apart from a couple of snitches) is aware of what we are trying to start.

I only did yesterday alone because I knew it would be easy, and getting people to take time off work when they didn’t need to seemed a waste.”

Long-term solutions are reached through organizing with neighbors and a series of little victories. Well done!

Sweets Way occupation

A beautiful house has been occupied on the Sweets Way estate in Barnet. Come down to check out the estate, chat to some local residents, and help create a community space!

The Sweets Way estate is in the process of a total decant, with about 15 households left of almost 160. The houses are in perfect condition, but are due to be knocked down by developer Annington Homes to double the density with only 33 ‘affordable’ units. Residents have no right of return. The estate has been used as temporary accommodation for Barnet Council via Notting Hill Housing Trust, in some cases for up to 6 years. The residents are at the beginning of their political action together, and are currently coming together to discuss their collective demands of the council.

Occupied house and banners

This is yet another case of developers manipulating the class composition of an area to increase their profits. Residents who have been in Barnet for decades are being forced out, aided by council policy to force up rents to 80% of market rates. They are looking for support in this battle, so if you can get on the Northern line we are only 26mins from Kings Cross.

Check Barnet Housing Action Group and the Radical Housing Network sites, as well as @SweetsWayN20 twitter for updates.

First and foremost, it is the solidarity of people coming and helping out that will win back the homes in this community. Come meet us and support us!

VIDEO: the children of Sweets Way speak up:

Residents of Sweets Way resisted an eviction by bailiffs!

Barnet Housing Action Group held an anti-eviction protest at Sweets Way Estate on the 16th of February, resisting the eviction of four families, some of the last remaining residents in this site of social cleansing. The Bailiffs got scared off – showed up and drove away.

The FIGHTBACK has begun!!

Residents holding banners and waiting for bailiffs

Residents moved on to Barnet House Council Office, getting it under lockdown for two hours: but Barnet residents and newly homeless were refused entry by security.

Two newly homeless people and a witness secured entry for a meeting with Housing Officers….who have promised (on video) that each affected family will be contacted for a meeting this afternoon and be offered suitable housing locally. More actions planned this week – help wanted, including anyone with legal/advocacy experience!


**cross posted from**

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



We’re pleased to announce that a London Eviction Resistance Meeting has been arranged for Thursday 6th June, 2013 at the London Action Resource Centre (LARC), 18.30 – 21.00pm. This meeting has been arranged after an overwhelming amount of interest in the idea of using direct action as a tactic against evictions and recognition of the need for London wide  solidarity with those threatened with eviction– regardless if they are private renters, social tenants or squatters.

After Unite Community’s NO eviction workshop and the eviction resistance workshop at the Open House event in May, this event is a great possibility to bring people from different backgrounds together and to plan next steps. The agenda of the meeting will be open to all those who come along.

LARC Address: 42 Fieldgate Street, e1 1es


Early Thursday morning we received some very disturbing news. Private bailiffs had smashed their way into a squatted building and were violently removing the sleepy occupants. The building, an empty commercial unit in South Bermondsey, had been occupied for less than 48 hours before the owner called in heavies to get the squatters out. Without going through the courts,  this was of course completely illegal.

One female squatter gave her account of the mornings events: ‘At 7am I woke up to the sound of screaming. Around 20 large men with crowbars and hammers were going from room to room, violently dragging people from their beds to the floor and screaming ‘GET OUT!’. When they came to my room, my partner asked them how they could remove people from the building without a court warrant. They replied by threatening to ‘do him in’  with a crowbar. As I was being pushed out of the building I managed to break free, grab my dog and barricade myself in a room. I called the police immediately’

The police arrived fairly promptly at the scene. On speaking to the bailiffs and squatters they made the decision that the eviction would still go ahead as there was ‘nothing they could do’. The officer in charge was repeatedly told that the bailiffs had used violence to enter the building unlawfully and that this contravened section 6 of the criminal law act 1977.  In addition, one of the squatters had been stabbed by a bailiff in the scuffle to remove him from the building. Yet, the police response was ‘Sorry for the violence, but there’s nothing we can do’.

Thus, despite the wrong doing of the property owner and bailiffs, the squatters were eventually thrown out onto the street. In response to the violence used to  enter the property, the bailiffs claimed to have found the entrance door ‘wide open’. The police seemed to believe this, despite the considerable damage done   to the door ( possibly done through forced entry?)

The squatters who were evicted have been taken in to neighbouring squats and the stab victim received hospital treatment.  This is sadly yet another incident were squatters have been  treated as lower class citizens by the authorities.  Police complaints have been made, we’ll update when we get more info about their progress.