Bristol: The eviction of The Factory social centre. A perspective

Just a quick update and some thoughts from a friend of the Factory.

I managed to take a bit of time away from working and went down to see what was happening at The Factory. Cops and robbers were standing around “protecting” the building and photographing the public. It has been completely evicted as far as I can tell. Chatted to a few folk who were about so this is a mainly a second hand account. I suspect that the occupiers will comment later after they have got some rest.

As I understand it private thugs in the pay of PG group came in through the roof at 6ish this morning backed up police lapdogs through the front door. People who were on the inside were overwhelmed by the thugs/lapdogs quite quickly. There were no arrests related to the occupation. Two men were arrested because the police thought they resembled the man wanted by the law in connection with the attack on the Evening Post offices. It seems that having glasses and wearing a baseball cap may have become an arrestable offence in Bristol today. As of a couple of hours ago at least one of these men is out of custody without charge (unsurprisingly).

When I went past, the thugs and their mates were “securing” the building and getting excited over discovering the basement. They didn’t appear to have started making the place uninhabitable yet but I’m sure that’s on the cards. A note was posted to the door from “Cave Street Ltd” ‘s solicitors describing them as the “bailees” I do hope that this is the same firm that owns the land, we wouldn’t want any legal discrepancies now would we!

As someone who visited The Factory on a number of occasions, particularly their regular free “people kitchens” every Tuesday, I was one of the many who had benefited from this courageous community’s desire to keep social space in St Paul’s. The sheer amount of unpaid work that had gone into this place is astonishing, I hope the people behind it find the energy to rise again.

I’m sickened that a private “Catholic” development corporation, PG Group, has decided to build more yuppie flats in this area for no benefit to anyone other than their accountants. That this bunch of gangsters hide behind a veneer of Christian respectability probably says a lot about the duplicitous corruption of the priesthood. This is the same group that wanted to build a huge office-block phallus overlooking St Paul’s on Dove lane. They appeared to have scarped from that following the “economic crash” (robbery by banks) presumably because the bucks weren’t fast enough.

So what has been achieved today? A number of people are homeless, St Paul’s is a slightly less nice place to live, some coppers got overtime on the corporate schilling, and a fat priest gets to chow down on some more venison.

Church, State and corporations all happily feeding in the trough of St Paul’s.