A friend, comrade, and squatmate, Ira Putiloss has been detained today by UKBA (United Kingdom Border Agency) officials. Ira is an LQBTQ person from Russia who is currently claiming asylum in the U.K for her own safety. In Russia she was harrassed, followed, and attacked, by state officials, the police and Neo Nazis because of her political activism and LGBTQ status; if she is returned to Russia she is likely to face torture, detention, and potentially death. Today (06/12/13) she was taken by UKBA officials to Yarls Wood Immigration Removal Centre and may face imminent deportation. We have recently lost contact with Ira, but are hoping to speak to her later tonight when she arrives at Yarls Wood. In the mean time, we ask everyone reading this to spread the word about Ira and her situation, and to contact groups or people who might be able to help- keep your eyes and ears open. All and any actions of support/solidarity are greatly appreciated by Ira and her Friends.
The squatters who took over the former pub The Bohemia pub in Finchley have been evicted after police and bailiffs smashed through barricades in dramatic scenes this afternoon.
At just after 5pm around 20 High Court bailiffs joined by police, including canine units, forced their way through the rear entrance of the pub in North Finchley High Road before the occupiers, who entered the building in September, agreed to leave quietly.
The squatters had turned the abandoned building into a community hub following its sudden closure in August. [Read More]
Nestled in a quiet street between the river and Borough Market, surrounded by expensive butchers, wine bars and offices for start-up PR companies and various institutional offshoots of the Globe Theatre sits 21-23 Park Street. The nearly 200 year old building originally housed managers at the nearby Anchor Brewery, but was sold to Southwark Council who used it as part of their housing stock.
The building made headlines last week as news that the council was auctioning off the property with a reserve of £2.25 million earned it the title of “the most expensive council house in Britain”. On Monday, just as news that the property had been sold for £2.96 million began circulating, it also became clear that the building had been occupied by local residents, some of whom are part of a new mutual support group called Housing Action Southwark & Lambeth, in an attempt to prevent the sale of yet more public housing. Having attempted to identify a number of possible offences, it became clear that police had no legal recourse to arrest the occupants, and they left. [Read More]
Housing activists have occupied a property owned by Southwark council which was due to be auctioned today at a starting price of £2.3 million.
They have occupied the building to stop the sell-off of yet more public housing stock when the borough faces a severe housing crisis with almost 25,000 people on the housing waiting list and increasing numbers of people forced to sleep rough on London’s streets.
The occupation is also a challenge to section 114 of the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) introduced last September which criminalised squatting in residential properties. This law has meant that homeless people seeking shelter in empty buildings can find themselves with a prison sentence. [Read More]