The Button Factory squat evicted in London


  The Button Factory squat evicted in London


A police campaign of violence against anti-capitalist activists began at the weekend when they swooped on a squatted community building and, with the help of bailiffs and the building’s owners, vandalised the former button factory, rendering it inhabitable. Mechanical diggers were used to demolish part of the building.

Two hundred (if you read the Sunday Telegraph) or 150 (if you read the Sunday Times) police officers were involved in the raid, even though the building was known to be empty. Officers from the Metropolitan, City and British Transport Police (if you get your news from the BBC) or Special Branch overseen by MI5 (if you read the Sunday Times) or riot police (if you read the Sunday Telegraph) were involved in violence and property destruction. “We’re the law, and we can smash up what the fuck we like”, a copper said, still sweating from his exertions. “I wish you hadn’t smashed the bogs up, I need a shit”, said another boy in blue.

There is a long history of squatting buildings for community purposes in London, and in the Brixton area in particular. This squat was one in a long line of previous squats (such as the Cool Tan – so called because it was housed in a former sun tan lotion factory, and the old Dole House). These squats have been used as meeting places for community groups, and as art and entertainment spaces. However, in recent years, a drive by local councillors to turn Brixton into a high-rent Yuppy playground has led to widespread evictions of squatters.

Anarchists squatted and continuously occupied the 121 centre on Railton Road in Brixton for more than fifteen years. By law, the building should have become the property of the occupants. However, Lambeth Council decided that building a load of shopping complexes was more important for Brixton’s future than the existence of vibrant, grassroots, community groups.

Big money is more important than little people, and as ever, the police will always be on hand to effect the “legal” violence that usually accompanies such evictions. For many years, councils have employed professional “property destroyers” whose job it is to make sure that squatted buildings – once evicted – cannot be used again. For example, they might fill toilets with cement or take floor boards out.

Now that they have smashed up the former button factory they say that “a police presence will be maintained in the area to ensure community safety”. Funny that – coming from the same force that routinely beats up Black men whilst in custody.


These squats still going strong though…

56A Info shop
Bookshop w/ squat info, records, zines, radical archive. Shares space with food co-op and bicycle repair workshop. Open: Thur 2-8pm & Fri 3-7pm.
56 Crampton St (near Elephant & Castle), SE17 3AE.

The Old Bath House Caf
Squat cafe with vegan food and DIY washing up… Open: Sun 8pm.
76 Shacklewell Lane, Hackney (Dalston Kingsland rail)

The Nursery Community Centre
A re-occupied space with cafe, creche, library classes and organic garden.
Atherden Rd (off Lower Clapton Rd), Hackney. Tel: 0208 525 0247.




Leeuwenhoek (amsterdam): one year later


  Leeuwenhoek (amsterdam): one year later


Flyer found at the Counter information agency ->more info

more information about the Leeuwenhoek ->

One year later..

Alsmost exactly one year ago -9th April- Leeuwenhoekstraat numbers 4-7 were occupied by a group of young people in need of housing and with a vision of creating a diverse and creative community together.

The houses were transformed back from empty shells into homes again, the roofs were made into vegetable and herb gardens, a ground floor became the first CIA infocafe; a public space where people could have free tea and cheap tasty food while reading free information often marginalised by corporate media. The square was often bustling with activity as people met, chatted and gave and received mutual support.

When the houses on Eerste Boerhavestraat and Swammerdamstraat were squatted soon after, we worked together on making a community garden out of unused land between the houses, opening it up for the neighbourhood with an evening of outdoor cinema, a cooking fire and free food for all.

Prior to being squatted, all the houses had been social housing. The owners – De Key housing company – are the City of amsterdam’s business solution to what should be a social service; in effect a privatised housing department competing in the marketplace.

the city, the police and De Key treated us as a ‘top priority’ to be evicted; removing us cost around 600,000 guilders – just to make wau for unaffordable luxury apartments. On the morning of the eviction day many of the squatters made an action at De Key’s offices, putting mattresses on the street and demanding a meeting with the people responsible for making 60 people homeless in one single day. The company’s justification was that construction work had to start immediately. Now, one yoear later, the houses still stand empty, with just sporadic and irregular construction work taking place. Of course, they have made sure the houses are not in a condition where anyone would think of living in them …

to add insult to injury, De Key are now claiming that they need even more subsidies from the City and are reducing even more the social housing in fabour of private apartments.

We condemn the corporatisation of public services as socially irresponsible and unaccountable. We will continue to resist the repression and intimidation by both the police and City of autonomous creative cultural initiatives. Was our self-organisation and the level of support we attracted just to embarrassing for them …?

-end of leaflet-

May the 6th 2001 one empty apartment was squatted in the same project. The floors were destroyed.