London: Squatter’s Digest: The Fight To Remain

No, no, not that fight to Remain. You’re here for the squatting right?

Well if you read last month’s entry (this is something of a journal I guess, rather than journalism), then you’ll be pleased to know that I write to you from the comfort of my squat, the same one as before. With 30 fellow squatters outside the barricaded front door, serving breakfast, tea and coffee, and a free shop to the public, the resistance to our eviction was handled with ease. So, here I remain.

Further resistance to the bailiffs was seen within a few days time in London, this time in the south, in Deptford. Expecting a somewhat firmer attempt from the bailiffs, people gathered from 7 in the morning to barricade (although some were still up from doing this the night before) and to protect the entrance-way. High court bailiffs arrived, and it seemed like it was on. However, despite the posturing of the initial few enforcers, and the entrance of another half-dozen reinforcements, the bailiffs had no success in removing the squatters. With the squatters being an integral part of local campaigns such as the oft-mentioned Tidemill Garden, scores of local residents and campaigners came down to show their displeasure at the attempt, and the police and bailiffs caved to the pressure and retreated. [Read More]

London: Squatter’s Digest: That’s a wrap

Welcome to the second, and final edition of Squatters Digest (for 2018). You made it, faithful readers.

In a shock headline, squatting in the UK continues. Evictions still take place every month, but due to the huge number of empty properties in the country, people are still finding ways to self-house. These properties sit vacant while people struggle with rents, and with capitalism. Sometimes people die, and still these buildings remain empty. As the temperatures look to drop below zero in the next couple of days, and I sit here with a horrible cold, I am reminded that it is coming up 6 years since the death of Daniel Gauntlett, a man who froze to death outside a building in Kent, too afraid to enter for fear of being prosecuted for the crime of squatting in a residential building, the infamous Section 144 LASPO law brought in back in 2012 that so many people with an interest in squatting will know all too well. [Read More]

London: Squatters digest- low tide. Next comes the flood

Welcome to the Squatter’s Digest, a new column for Freedom News, highlighting the ongoings of the squat scene in London and beyond, along with providing opinions on the politics of said goings-on. Quality and coherence are not guaranteed.

The 29th of October saw 150 high-court bailiffs and police descend upon the Tidemill Community Garden in Deptford, London, at 6am, pulling people from their tents, dragging them out of tree-houses, and laying waste to the entire occupation. Occupiers climbed the trees and refused to vacate, while outside fights broke out between the supporters and bailiffs (County Enforcement, well-known to squatters, see Corporate Watch’s latest article on them), who of course were protected by members of the Metropolitan Police force. At some point in the afternoon the last squatter was removed from the trees and the garden was all but lost. But this didn’t stop the people outside from trying for one last push to regain entry to the site. Rushing for the fences, people were thrown to the ground and detained by bailiffs and police, but also linked arms and refused to allow their fellow protestors to be taken to the arrest vans, defiant to the last. [Read More]

London: Check out that A.S.S.

Squatters beware – there have been multiple cases in the last few weeks of people being arrested for burglary when squatting a place. With that in mind the Advisory Service for Squatters (A.S.S.) would like to remind people a few things to keep them safe if faced with arrest:

  1. No comment – You might be able to explain your situation to the police, but in 99% of cases what you say to them will not get you out of the cells any faster, and can be used to incriminate you or any other people arrested. If you go to court it can all be used against you, especially if you are caught fibbing to the rozzers. Say NO COMMENT to any questions the police ask you and keep you and your crew safe.
  2. Have a bail address – someone who doesn’t mind telling the police that you stay with them sometimes and that you can possibly stay with for a bit if the police do put any bail conditions on you. You don’t want to give them an excuse to keep you in prison.
  3. Know a legal firm to call – don’t in any circumstances take the duty solicitor provided by the police. Remember the name of one of the solicitor firms on the bust card, available at all good anarchist soical centres and refuse t have an interview until your lawyers are called.

Good luck out there! Feed the pigeons!

From Squatters of London Action Paper Issue 9 (pdf) – back issues here

NFA Antifascists

Uk: Squatters Handbook, fourteenth edition

sqhanbkviralmarketing1The Squatters Handbook  (ISBN 0 – 9507769 – 7-1) has been published by the Advisory Service for Squatters in London since 1976. It is now in its fourteenth edition and provides over a hundred pages of detailed legal and practical information about squatting and homelessness in England and Wales. Be aware that the law is different in Scotland and Northern Ireland and that the info in the handbook won’t apply there.

We put out the 14th edition of the handbook in October, 2016. More content, easier to read, plus glossary and index and more up to date.

It costs only £2, or £3.50 with postage. Arrangements for squat groups and bookshops.

If you’re in London, come into the office to pick them up. Otherwise, write, phone, or email for your copy. Send us your name and address along with a cheque for £3.50 written out to ASS, or seven 50p stamps (or equivalent), and we’ll get one in the post straight away. We don’t take credit cards. If you urgently need one, call or email us with your details and we’ll send one out along with an invoice. If you live outside of the UK, you can order them from AK press. Contact us for bulk rates if you need a load of them. [Read More]

London: Camelot HQ squatted

201609_London_Camelot_HQ_squattedA few days ago the former Camelot Europe HQ, in Westland Park London N1 was squatted in protest against guardian companies’ anti-social profiteering from empty properties and homelessness.

For those who don’t know, Camelot are the original “guardian” company, invented to counter the squatting movement in Holland by moving in people who act as security by living there. Guardians pay rent but have less protection than ordinary tenants, at least according to the wording of their contracts. Other guardian companies also exist, such as our least-favourite Dot Dot Dot ……

A couple of articles have appeared in the Guardian but with certain problems. Both of them seem to agree with Camelot that what the people acting as security guards by living in their properties are is merely licencees, when most legal advice shows that they clearly have tenancies. When challenged on this point most guardian companies back down and come to a deal, rather than allow the issue to go to court. [Read More]

UK: Advisory Service for Squatters is 40!

We’re not sure how it happened but it did, and there seems to still be need for ASS, or something like it.

As part of our celebrations, we are planning a day of reminiscing, planning and partying, on the 12th September. Not a particularly momentous date as far as we know – the decision to start was around February and the actual opening was in October.
[Read More]