London: Occupy Democracy charges dismissed in court

12 peaceful protesters have charges dropped in first two trials.
Judge rules tarpaulin not a structure designed or adapted for sleeping.
£1,945,279 spent in policing operation between mid-October and mid-February.
Police criticised for labelling Occupy Movement ‘Domestic Extremists.’
Judicial Review against Mayor’s decision to close Parliament Square Gardens in run-up to election continues.

Charges against 12 Occupy Democracy [1] protesters were dropped yesterday in the first two trials relating to the peaceful pro-democracy group’s occupation of Parliament Square in October 2014. Charges included refusing to comply with a direction to leave and for being in possession of a prohibited article, namely tarpaulin. A further trial relating to charges of aggravated trespass was dropped previously.

From the 17th October 2014 Occupy Democracy held a ten-day occupation outside the Houses of Parliament to highlight the deficit in our democracy. During that time protesters faced increasingly oppressive and violent tactics from the Metropolitan Police aiming to suppress the protest. These tactics included kettling, intimidation, confiscation of property, inflicting pain through use of pressure points and pulling protesters across the ground.[2] [Read More]

Dublin: End of Grangegorman squat

Despite the call for resistance, the Grangegorman squat (AKA SquatCity) has ended in silence. In June 2015, keys were handed to the Gardai, with no fuss.

Their Law: The New Energies of UK Squats, Social Centres and Eviction Resistance in the Fight Against Expropriation

For anyone old enough to remember themselves as a teenager during the nineties, with fond memories of piercing their own ears (multiple times) whilst listening to the second album of The Prodigy ‘Music for a Jilted Generation’ [self-​piercing nostalgia optional], they will recognise ‘Their Law’ as the musical response to the criminalisation of rave culture’s collective enjoyment of ‘repetitive beats’ directly legislated in Section 63(1)(b) of the Criminal Justice Act and Public Order Act 1994. The metallic screams and staples pulsate into an abrupt “fuck them and their law” where the Braintree boys quarterise their angry sentiment against enclosing law, the voice of a radical resistance felt in lower frequency bass, vibration, body, the tribe, the people — rave terms.

I think of Their Law when I think of the energy and metabolism of many communities now fighting the heartbreaking effects of unabated private property acquisition in the UK, of the fierce passions contesting the market-​obsessed policies enacted through unapologetic and unconcerned legislative processes that are entirely ignorant of the difficulties people are facing on a day-​to-​day basis just to be. [Read More]

The prison squatters of Kosovo

The rusted gate creaks open as a handful of Roma women step into the shadowy entranceway of the former Dubrava Correctional Centre. The soles of their shoes slide across the dank floor as they walk through tangled corridors and between moldy, crumbling walls. The women’s eyes are hollow, their expressions are somber. Children’s wails and coughs echo through the halls of the facility, a place whose former inhabitants experienced decades of abuse.

The Centre, Kosovo’s largest detention facility, had inmates until the end of the war in 1999, when the property was returned to the municipality of Istog, in the country’s northwest. Local authorities promised to turn the center into a home for returning Albanians and Roma, thousands of whom were displaced during the Kosovo war. The promise was never kept, but Roma families began squatting here fifteen years ago and never left.
[Read More]

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London: Time to defend Sweetstopia!


Shortly after we began our occupation of the estate (news here and here and here), some other occupiers emerged on the scene. At first we had some tensions, but gradually we have come to see eye-to-eye on the need to keep our homes from being destroyed, in spite of any differences.
[Read More]

Kaunas (Lithuania): Eviction of Green House

    On Saturday, June 27, the Green House (Žalias Namas) squat/social centre in Kaunas was evicted. It had operated during the past half year in one of the abandoned wooden houses (which happened to be green).
    [Read More]

London: Sweets Way Resists, our occupation turned 4 months old today…

Today marks 4 months since our occupation began. It seemed like a good time to go down memory lane and have a look at how it all started…
Firstly however we would like to thank amazing Focus E15 Mothers, Barnet Housing Action Group, Our West Hendon, and all the other extraordinary selfless individuals. Their commitment to help people, and pure spirit made it all happen, and they were there through tears and laughter. We would never be able to thank them enough- they are truly inspirational.
We would also like to thank YOU ALL for your amazing support and heartwarming messages.
We are all so grateful for your ongoing support. Please continue to do so, after all, we all need homes… [Read More]

London: Grow Heathrow successfully resists bailiffs

At 10:00 this morning (July 8) the land owner plus 5/6 bailiffs arrived to evict the residents of Grow Heathrow, threatening to break entry. Residents locked themselves to structures and climbed to higher ground. The police arrived, explaining to the bailiffs they were woefully unequipped to enforce an eviction. Indeed they were. Moreover, Inspector David George from the Heathrow Villages Area Police confirmed to us that as no official documentation regarding a warrant for the eviction was presented to Grow Heathrow or the police, the attempt to evict the site was unlawful.
[Read More]

Rotterdam (NL): Resistance

In Crooswijk, a district of Rotterdam, a housing corporation (Woonstad Rotterdam) is carrying out wholesale destruction of social housing. They have already demolished a large part of the neighbourhood, and then found that they had no money to rebuild homes, so now half the district is reduced to a huge expanse of sand.
[Read More]

Now that it’s undeniable: Gentrification in Hamilton 2015

From The Hamilton Institute


For the past several years, we’ve been talking quite a lot about gentrification here in Hamilton. In the current moment, as the vanguard of art galleries decisively give way to boutique shops and condos, as sections of town are repurposed into bedroom communities for people who work in Toronto but can’t afford to live there, what do we mean when we talk about gentrification? Two years ago, even the arts industry fucks could claim, without feeling too dishonest, that they were creating something local and durable. Now we watch their flagship galleries and favourite restaurants close while a Starbucks and McMaster satellite campus open in Jackson Square, with condos going up on all sides. You were the footsoldiers of gentrification – don’t say we didn’t warn you.

[Read More]