Ottawa: 7-Year Squat update


  Ottawa: 7-Year Squat update


Late Friday afternoon I was in the Indymedia Centre preparing to leave Ottawa for Montreal when we got word that the 7-Year Squat at 246 Gilmour street was threatened by a police raid. We hurriedly grabbed all the cameras, batteries, and tape that we could lay hands on and headed over to the squat about 4 blocks away.

Since Friday, we have been providing a 24-hour media presence at the squat. The landlord showed up with a non-uniformed police escort to inform the squatters that they were not welcome on his property, then left the golf-shirted police to speak further with the squatters. 5 seconds later, two police cars and a fire truck with a lift basket screeched to a halt down the block in a show of force. Footage of this incident can be found at

Police drive-bys have been fairly constant, but there had been little in the way of direct intimidation when I left on Saturday afternoon. A few drunks next door to the squat provided a little excitement by pulling the fire alarm in their apartment building in the wee hours of Saturday morning but this had nothing to do with the squat, as I informed the cops who later showed up to park around the corner and skulk around in the shadows. They left after I assured one of the officers that her hair looked just fantastic on camera.

The squat is still in fine shape as of Sunday, June 30 at 2:26 pm EST.

Video of Friday’s press conference part 1- part 2 – part 3 – (this includes footage of a local resident showing up with gifts for the squat).

Audio interview w/ squatters, 1 am Saturday morning

Video interview with a squat organizer – as you can see, the place looks quite good inside after the clean-up the squatters have done.

The squat currently has the capability of providing live cell-phone broadcasts to the web, stay tuned to Ottawa Indymedia for more info on that. Video footage of this action is being posted to Ontario IMC to lighten the load on the Ottawa server. More video will be made available as we can digitize it.

David Hrycyszyn <dave [at] blumedia [dot] co [dot] uk>



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