Brighton: Don’t despair, organise! DIY Kodak Collective squatted night shelter

London Road in Brighton is a clear example of the austerity crisis in Britain. The road is lined with closed businesses and people in every doorway. On Christmas Eve, a group of community activists opened the doors to a squatted night shelter with a sign that read “Room at the Inn”, inviting rough sleepers to get warm over the Christmas week. The DIY Kodak Collective, named after the photography shop that used to be there, is still holding the shelter weeks later – as well as space for people to sleep, there are daily communal meals, a place to create art and a free shop. The building has become somewhere safe, warm and creative for homeless people to escape the winter weather, socialise and sleep, and, as it is a DIY shelter, people are able to exercise their own autonomy when it comes to using the space.
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Brighton: Squatted Night Shelter

As Brighton becomes more glamorous and sparkles in the shop windows cost like gold, the city is only managing to house the rich and the privileged. There are too many buildings on our streets which have been left empty, dilapidating and neglected by selfish landlords who are apparently blind to the hundreds of people sleeping in bags outside of these doorsteps. Brighton has the second worst amount of homeless to London, and the council cannot seem to do anything about it.
We have scrubbed up + loved up one of these empty buildings to make an emergency shelter for people who would otherwise sleep outside. There is room for 10 people to stay at night and downstairs there is a soup kitchen!
Please spread the word about the space to friends seeking shelter.
Any donations will be accepted gratefully, and here are some photos of the accommodation.

Facebook – DIY Kodak Collective: Squatted Night Shelter

UK: Social Centre Bulletin – Manchester Winter Shelter and a Happy New Year

As winter creeps in a handful of locals decided that the councils apathy regarding the homeless simply isn’t acceptable and set about doing something about it. That something is called the “Manchester Winter Shelter“. Their aim is to provide a safe and secure space for the cities homeless from the 18th of December until the end of February.

On the 15th they let word out that they had squatted the old Jobcentre on Clarence road in Longsight and were preparing it to house people. Donations came pouring in and they set to work not only preparing the place for it’s would be residents but heading out onto the streets to help with the regular outreach of Manchester Homeless Group and started to talking to people in need of a roof. They faced a difficult task indeed but were instantly inundated with support from folk from across Manchester as well as with the mutual aid of other Homeless support organisations.
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Brighton: As council seals arches, where do the people go?

On Thursday 12th and Friday 13th several arches and shelters above Madeira Drive, at Black Rock, spaces which had housed a community of people over the summer were sealed off with metal grilles — the question has to be where are those people now? [UPDATE the grilles were taken down again a week later]

This summer I was really shocked by the number of homeless people in Brighton. It was much higher than it used to be. Despite a controversial official survey which said numbers had dropped by half, the evidence from my own eyes was that I saw many more homeless people on my way into town than in previous years. There are also many people living in the parks and on the beach. There have been encampments all over town, for example Hove Lawns. Now it’s getting colder, the camps are disappearing and so are the people. Where have they gone? Each person sleeping rough has their own reasons for doing so, maybe some have chosen to move on because of the weather, but what about the others?
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UK: The social centres roundup

For all its small size and general impoverishment the libertarian socialist movement actually runs a surprisingly large amount of real estate around Britain, all on non-hierarchical lines, by and for the people of the cities and towns we’re in. Housing co-ops, bookshops, bike collectives, archives, distros, printers and the like are all part of the collective mix. Below, Freedom News briefly rounds up some goings-on at 15 radical social centres and spaces over the last few months. [Read More]

Brighton: Land occupation evicted, so activists squat £100m development

A homeless camp set up in Brighton on April 5th to protest against a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) which has been imposed on the city’s parks and seafront was evicted on Wednesday — and activists have responded by taking over a building linked to a £100m development project.
The Circus Street DIY Squatted Social Centre has been set up at the city’s old university building and are planning to hold it as a radical space and rebuke against the council, which they say is socially cleansing Brighton of its homeless by denying them a place to stay and sleep.

In a statement, the occupiers, who are involved in campaigns including Raised, Fist Collective, Screw the System, SolFed, Alt SU, Brighton Anti-Fascists and the camp itself, said:
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Brighton: Radical Bank communique2

So today [open day june 15] was a roaring success!

We hosted various workshops throughout the day from first-aid to digital security. We curated various film exhibitions from local artists and activists. We were able to provide free vegan food all day, and all manner of artwork was created to adorn the space. All in all we received overwhelming support for our ongoing project and with much respect and gratitude we would like to thank everybody for the time and energy devoted, it was truly beautiful to see so many people interacting with the space we have worked so hard to make safe, available and free for everybody to enjoy!
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Brighton: Radical Bank

I am writing on behalf of The Radical Bank of Brighton & Hove. We are a diverse group of people who have come together partly in response to the deprivations of the austerity measures enacted by European governments. We refuse to accept their claims that austerity is necessary, indeed, we understand that it has done nothing to improve economic health. Instead, we recognise that this current economic regime has only resulted in impoverishment and misery; it is a means of weakening the public infrastructures relied on by so many, for the purposes of privatization and profit. We refuse to watch as our future is sold to the highest bidder. In response, we have recently reclaimed an abandoned building on 1 Preston Road, in Brighton, previously used as a bank.
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UK: Why #ACAB? One person’s experience of Political Policing

Given all the media attention on Police malpractice recently, and the constant, repetitive wheeling out of the “few bad apples” analogy, it seemed timely to explain why Anticapitalists hate the Police so much. Rather than present some dry, academic thesis full of depressing facts and figures (there are plenty of those about at the moment!) we have decided to simply post one local Anticapitalist’s experience of dealing with the Police as a “Political Activist” and homeless person.
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Brighton: 3 days stand-off at a squatted church

Brighton_Montpelier_Baptist_Church_squatted

Just over a week ago, an interim possession order was served on a squatted church in Brighton. Deciding to resist the IPO, the squatters barricaded the building, and took to the roof in protest and a large group of people gathered outside.

A Banner was hung from the roof stating “The meek shall squat the earth” in reference to some religious nonsense found within the church, and a black flag was flown whilst the squatters maintained a presence on the roof for 3 consecutive days.

Out of the numerous police patrols that passed, one cocky sergeant decided to parade around the church and threatened that the police would return at 5am in the morning to evict the squatters. [Read More]

Brighton: Fuck s144! Some quick analysis

Our three friends who were accused of the “offence” of occupying an unused allegedly residential building have all now been cleared of any “crime.” The three were arrested in Brighton last year, just two days after the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO 2012) had become law. When they came to trial, two had charges dropped, the other one was convicted purely on the word of a copper. On appeal, this conviction was quashed on October 31, over a year later. So finally we can celebrate!

Now at last we can talk about the case and what it means for squatting. Basically, the news is good. Very good in fact. This new law is unenforceable, just as groups such as Squatters Action for Secure Housing (SQUASH) and the Squatters Network of Brighton and Hove always maintained.
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Brighton: Section 144 appeal successful! Calling Mike Weatherley MP a coward case continues

We won the appeal!!

A squatter convicted under s144 had the conviction unanimously overturned for lack of ANY evidence. Our barrister was ninja and the judge laid down some stringent guidelines on what the police must do to establish proof that someone lives in a squat. Unfortunately he refused to define what constitutes residential…

A deeper analysis will follow, for now we can only say if you are accused of squatting a residential building, don’t talk to police at all (no comment interview) and plead not guilty. This law is fucked and unenforceable.

Also, the #mikeweatherleyisacoward case continues so our @housingwar twitter will continue with court updates. Continue reading for tweets from court today:

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