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]

Zeist (Netherlands): Callout for support in resistance to illegal eviction

Yesterday the police illegally evicted the recently squatted building at Utrechtseweg 86, Zeist. The squatters had written statement from a neighbour that he had seen them in the building for over 24 hours, but still the police claimed the squatters were ‘caught in the act’, and evicted on those grounds.
The police refused to arrest or ID anyone, even when they had to forcefully evict the building. One person refused to cooperate to the point that they were forced to arrest them, but they were released hours later without charge. This unwillingness to bring this case to court proves that the police know that they are acting illegally.
Today the building was re-squatted. After long discussion between the acting officer of justice, the squatters, and the police, the squatters were given until 18.00 to leave. We will not leave!
This is a call out for support inside and outside of the building. The police in and around Utrecht are increasingly deciding to ignore the house-peace of squatters, and are finding any excuse to evict squats in the moment which they appear. We aim to gather as many people as possible inside and outside the building, to make it as difficult as we can for them to do so.
We have a working legal team, the deadline for the eviction is 18,00 today. [Read More]

The Hague: Pand Egypte squatted and evicted

Today (6 november) a recently squatted house in the Archipelbuurt in The Hague was evicted. The building is owned by the Egyptian government and served for decades as the residence of the Egyptian ambassador. After more than 10 years of vacancy it is in a miserable condition. Instead of respecting the domestic peace established by the squatters, the police decided today to evict the building under false pretexts. It is already the 4th unlawful eviction by the Haaglanden police force this year.

This afternoon the squatters of Surinamestraat 20 announced to the owner and police that they have been using the building as a living space since Saturday. The Egyptian ambassador and his lads, not charmed by the action, used threatening language on the spot. They thought that the building would be on Egyptian territory and that therefore no Dutch laws would apply. The police, who had been informed of the action by a written notification and by telephone by the squatters, confirmed after consultation that the territory table did not give cause for eviction. Nor did a situation arise that made it opportune for the police to evict on criminal grounds.

Initially, a discussion between the embassy police, the squatters’ spokesperson and the Egyptians was started, but when the Hague police force started to interfere in the situation, it soon became clear that they would not be taking the facts and observing the policy line on squatting drawn up by the Public Prosecution Service so closely this afternoon. Out of sheer powerlessness, it was thrown back into a ‘red-handedness’, even though it was the squatters themselves who had informed the police of the newly started habitation. [Read More]

Utrecht: Eviction of the Swamp starts today. Come to support

Support the Swamp, the eviction of the Swamp has started.
07.00h: workers from Borghese open the fence that separates the Swamp from the neighbors field.
10.30h: Police vans arrive to the field.
Eight cops entered the terrain and a bailiff started to walk around asking people to leave.
11.00h: the first arrest police van arrived.
11.20h: five people have been found inside of the Swamp, the bailiff hopes there’s no one else in places hard to access or hiding.It won’t be that easy. The Swamp will resist.
Lock ons and a monopot tower await the cops. Come to the swamp and support! [Read More]

Lecce: Eviction of Canaglia Occupata

On Monday 3rd September Canaglia Occupata in Lecce was evicted. Police stormed the place at 6am along with the fire brigade and ENEL and municipal waterworks technicians, who cut off all electricity and water supplies. Three male and four female comrades who were in the building at the time of the eviction were charged with occupation, defacement and damaging of others’ property, as well as theft of electricity and water supplies. Three were also reported for breach of expulsion orders from Lecce and a comrade who managed to stay on the roof for a while (Digos officers had to use a ladder to reach him) was charged with resistance. Three more expulsion orders from Lecce for another three years were issued. The building was declared sequestrated.

The occupation took place on 23rd July, about a month after the Villa Matta squat was evicted. On social media right-wing groups of Lecce (Northern League, Forza Italia, Sentire Civico, Movimento e Libertà) are rejoicing at the brilliant police operation that restored respect for ‘sacred property’ – be it private or public – followed by cheers from those who have no scruples about calling us ‘parasites to be eliminated’.

Unfortunately for them, it is certainly not a physical place that gives content to our life and struggle; unfortunately for them, we’ll continue to be present in the city. [Read More]

Dublin: Masked thugs evict Frederick Street

Masked Garda threatening people with batons in the aftermath of the violent eviction carried out by thugs in Dublin last night. Pepper spray, dogs and batons were deployed, there were 5 or 6 arrests and four housing campaigners required hosptial visits from injuries received in the course of the eviction of the Frederick St occupation [which is the second recent occupation].

[Read More]

Kempton Park (South Africa): Brutal Attack on the Phumula Mqashi Land Occupation in Tembisa

30 July 2018 – Phumula Mqashi Land Occupation Press Statement

The Phumula Mqashi Land Occupation in Tembisa on the East Rand was founded on 13 February 2018. It has been coming under sustained, illegal and often violent attack from the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department (EMPD). Shacks and people’s possessions have been repeatedly burnt. [Read More]

Athens (Greece): Occupied gym evicted and demolished

On Tuesday morning [July 17th, 2018] a bulldozer (with agreement of the owner of course) demolished squat in Exarchia, Athens, which was acting as the only occupied gym in the city. No one was arrested. Workers worked on the building while riot police was on alert and protecting the area. [Read More]

Dijon (France): Large refugee squat evicted

Yesterday (10/7/18) early morning French police, with assistance from border police evicted the XXL Squat in Dijon, where about hundred asylum seekers lived. During the eviction, twenty-four people were detained by the border police. The eviction was enforced despite of the ongoing negotiations with the property owner.

The building have been occupied since August 2016. Apart for providing home to many people, it also hosted a number of projects, including French language classes and legal assistance group, medical and social spaces.
[Read More]

A Coruña: A Insumisa social centre evicted

Last Wednesday, the municipal police have evicted the A Insumisa social centre in Galician city A Coruña. The space originally belonged to the Ministry of Defense until, after more than 15 years of abandonment, it was ceded to the city council. In November 2016, it was reclaimed by residents of A Coruña and since then it has been carrying out a range of social and cultural activities organized through open assemblies.

After it was occupied and set up as a social centre, the city council came up with their own proposal to turn the space to a cultural project similar to the one already set up by the citizens: except that it was to be managed by the council. The council’s proposal was rejected by the local residents and participants of A Insumisa, who defended the local self-managed project that already worked well without the intervention of the town hall and without public funding. After this defeat, the city council initiated the eviction process, which was finalised last Wednesday. [Read More]

Galliners (Catalonia): Kan Bici evicted

Hi friends and comrades!

Last Thursday 10th of May at 10.30h in the morning appeared the owner with some thugs without uniform in front of Kan Bici, little bit after arrived 3 cop-cars (Mossos) and a judicial adept from the court of Girona who decided to force the main-door (without exit) but later they forced the back-door of the garden while the neighbor “worked” with a grass-cutting machine… We were only two and not really animated to have a fight with the cops, so they gave us 10 minutes to take all stuff which we couldn’t take out before. The small number of assistants during the called acts of the resistance-week of Kan Bici and the ignorance condemned the squat to eviction. The fear to express the opinion in public is the collaboration with the daily perpetrated crimes. From the comrades very few solidarity, but we know why we’re in this situation and what are their means with which they manipulate and distort reality. Always against evictions, yesterday like today, our only weapon is the solidarity expressed in the streets. The silence kills! From the new squat greetings of complicity with the diverse resistances around the world, specially warm greetings for the comrades of the ZAD (Brittany) and the arrested anarchist comrades in Indonesia. The life continue be a struggle which we choose to make us strong and look for the confrontation with this corrupt and false system which just knows the option between be a slave and/or pay what they ask for or the permanent struggle againsttheir ties and traps. They can evict our squats but our ideas they never will change! As they sow misery there will be rebellion! Not forgotten nor forgiven! Health and Anarchy (from a really nice place)! [Read More]

Durham (UK): Violence at protest camp eviction

Since the start of March, campaigners living at the Pont Valley Protection Camp, between Dipton and Leadgate in County Durham, have been protesting against opencast coal mining by the Banks Group, which has only until 3 June to extract coal from the mine before its planning permission runs out.

The camp was set up after petitions, open letters to the Secretary of State and the discovery of a protected species of great crested newt all failed to stop the mining from going ahead.

Between 19 and 21 April, the camp was evicted by bailiffs and seven campaigners were arrested. They have complained that during the eviction, bailiffs showed little consideration for individuals’ safety and subjected then to continuous abusive and sexist behaviour, which the police who were in attendance took no action against.

Instead, police officers used ‘section 35’ dispersal powers, intended for tackling anti-social behaviour, to disperse witnesses from the area.
[Read More]