Today the squatting trial in Brighton was adjourned until the 24th May as it ran out of time due to extreme faffing.
Two squatters had already had the case against them thrown out of court when the magistrates realised the prosecution hadn’t actually presented any evidence that they lived in the building. And the case against the third squatter looks pretty flimsy.
One of the freed defendants, said:
Today we saw how far the University management are willing to go to suppress protest on campus. At 11am this morning bailiffs, accompanied by a staggering number of police, arrived on campus to evict students who have been occupying the Bramber House Conference Centre since February 7th. After the occupiers peacefully left the building chanting and singing, four students were arrested and many others were abused at the hands of the police.
Communique originally sent to Act For Freedom Now:
In the early hours of January 16th 2013 we found a suitable canvas to express our rage and solidarity with the recent wave of attacks on anarchist/autonomous spaces in Greece.
On the pristine white wall of the Halifax bank on London Road (central Brighton) we painted “Solidarity with squats in greece” in large green letters, accompanied by A.C.A.B, a large squatter symbol and circled A in black paint. This is only a small expression of our desire to strike back in what are difficult and oppressive times for all of us. Unfortunately we do not have any pictures of our art. [Read More]
Mike Weatherley, Tory MP for Hove, was due to do a lecture today at Sussex University, in Brighton. He was invited by the Sussex Uni Tory Society to talk about the squatban that he championed.
The first known arrests over the new squatting law happened today.
Three squatters occupying a commercial property in Brighton, who were using the upstairs residential area as an un-lived in social centre, were arrested after a seven hour standoff. The two rooftop occupiers vanished into thin air!
There are also unconfirmed reports of arrests in Somerset.
We will resist the squatting ban by any means necessary.
The Squatter’s Network of Brighton is calling for a Mass Squatting Action on October 13th to resist the new anti-squatting laws. This act is draconian, unworkable, an attack on our way of living and some of the most vulnerable in our society. We will not take it lying down.
As the move towards the criminalisation of squatting continues in the UK with the House of Lords waving through the legislation, there have been demonstrations in support of squatting and autonomous spaces.
See below for reports from Brighton (today) and Bristol (yesterday).
Three squats are due in court as the owners of the buildings try and regain possession.
The protest started at 10.30 outside Brighton County Court in solidarity with the squatters in court. Once the last squatters have had their court case heard the protesters will march through the centre of Brighton to raise awareness of the benefits of squatting and the attack on squatting by right wing Hove MP, Mike Weatherly.
This morning at 8am, less than 48 hours after a possession order was granted by Brighton Magistrates Court, the Brighton and Hove council attempted to evict the occupiers of Ainsworth House on Wellington Road, Brighton.
The building has been occupied for less than a month by at least 25 people. Despite the fact Christmas is only 4 days away, the council is pushing ahead with plans to make the occupiers (including vulnerable people with disabilities) homeless. For more info see the previous indymedia article here.
In his usual dim-witted way, ‘Mad Mike’ Weatherley has been making fatuous comments regarding (unnamed) homelessness charities endorsing his campaign to criminalise squatters, all squatters being lifestylists or how Brighton police have never convicted squatters in eighteen years. All these remarks are ill-informed, for example the last – there haven’t been any convictions because it’s not a criminal offence (although the police do often make sure to frame squatters for other alleged crimes).
Mike Weatherly MP for Hove & Portslade has been making lots of noise lately with regards to squatting. Basically he’s keen to make an impact in his first term and sees the victimization of squatters as a vote winner. Much of what he says on the issue consists of misrepresentations, exaggerations and lies. I wrote this letter to him last Wednesday (26th October) taking him to task for some of what he has said, he promised to reply, but he hasn’t as yet.
I’ve never had much time for politicians, but this one stands out as a particularly nasty prick even compared to the rest of them.
Keep fighting, keep squatting.
October 1 2011 marked one year since the Kraakverbod made squatting illegal in the Netherlands. However, hundreds of people still squat and will continue to squat.
With squatting in the UK coming under threat, join us to hear 3 squatters from Amsterdam talk next week in several cities across the UK about squatting before the ban, resistance to the criminalisation and what’s been happening since the Kraakverbod became law.