UK: Don’t believe the hype. Evictions continue despite moratorium

The ban is a lie. Despite the UK government declaring a “complete ban on evictions” due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, in the last 24 hours an autonomous homeless shelter in Brighton and an occupied space in Peckham have been illegally evicted by people claiming to be bailiffs, allegedly with the full support and cooperation of the Sussex and Metropolitan police officers in attendance.

The government’s no evictions claim is really just the abdication of due process and the scant judicial protections formerly afforded to tenants, squatters and the under-class in general.

Get ready. The bailiffs and their bosses are taking the law into their own hands, with the police in full support. [Read More]

Brighton: Another illegal eviction

Yesterday (1 April) the DiY Kodak Collective (previously on S!N) were again illegally evicted from a building. This is the second time in a week. This time it was a squatted basement flat, part of the complex which used to be the Hostelpoint at Pool Valley coach station in central Brighton.

Three men claiming to be the owners came by at noon to threaten violence unless the squatters left by 9am on 2 April. They then came back at 7pm the same day with a sledgehammer and smashed their way in. While they did so, a passerby flagged down a police car. Instead of arresting the angry men brandishing a sledgehammer, the police entered the squat, quoting PACE 17 which is complete nonsense. The legal warning was on the door stating that anyone using force to enter was breaking the law. No-one wanted to stay and wait for more violence to come, so we decided to leave.
[Read More]

UK: Evictions held over, hotels for the homeless — Covid is upending housing

The legal situation has been changing so rapidly that even full-timers are struggling to keep up, but with the introduction of Practice Direction 51Z it looks like eviction proceedings are finally off the table for now and we have time to take stock of what is now utterly uncharted territory in British housing.

Minutes after I’d finished an article regarding the situation regarding squats and ongoing evictions in Britain the information became outdated, as emergency procedural changes were brought in by the government, in theory protecting everyone, squatters, renters, and the street homeless, from the risks of being out on the streets during this period. Let’s explore what each of these measures might realistically mean.

Up until this moment, the government had promised a three-month breather for mortgage repayments, and then – under pressure – caved and stated that tenants who fail to pay rent will be protected from eviction for the next three months. This does not mean a lot in practice, as the rent still needs to be paid, and agreements for doing so settled on. [Read More]

South Africa: Evictions mark first day of national lockdown

Even as police let loose with rubber bullets and beatings against shoppers yesterday in an effort to enforce the new national Covid-19 lockdown, in Durban they were turfing people into the street.

The eThekwini municipality evicted residents from the Ekuphumeleleni settlement near Shallcross in Ward 17 on Friday when, at 2pm, nine vehicles linked to Calvin Security arrived at the contested site, which was first established as a land occupation in October 2019, to tear down people’s homes. No court order was produced and residents say the evictions were illegal and criminal, as well as being in violation of rules governing the national state of disaster.
[Read More]

Berlin: “We will squat…

… until we no longer have to.” That’s what we have always said. In times of “emergency”, this wording can be expanded to an appeal: “You have to join in!”

Covid-19 is hitting more and more areas of the world and it turns out that the so-called emergency is the rule. For, where people are called by the supposedly necessary and strict father state: “Stay at home!”, not everyone has a home. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the state itself has been pushing up for a long time the numbers of homeless by evicting them. At the same time, the state closes day-care centers that the homeless need for the measly bread of mercy and a little soap and water. In its brazen double standards, the state then exhorts patriarchally, “Pay attention to hygiene!”

“Avoid social contacts!” That’s what the governments demand. But where should refugees retreat to, when they are penned up in camps and deportation prisons at Europe’s external borders and the German periphery? With human rights – such as asylum, freedom of movement and housing – they were also deprived of the opportunity to effectively protect themselves against Covid-19. [Read More]

London: Squatting, Evictions, and the Coronavirus

Some days after granting a 3-month breather for mortgage payments the government caved to pressure and stated that renters who fail to pay rent will be protected from eviction during the next 3 months. This meant very little to squatters, and as explained later, still means very little to renters.

The Pie ‘n’ Mash Autonomous Cafe was evicted the morning of that same announcement, the same day that the cafe (having closed for safety reasons some days earlier) was to become London’s first Mutual Aid Centre, to complement the anarchist-instigated and autonomously-organised Mutual Aid groups that had sprung up around the city, and now the country. The council (who without a doubt had a hand in effecting the eviction of the Pie ‘n’ Mash) announced the very next day their own initiative of a centre to assist Mutual Aid groups in distribution of needed goods, co-opting the idea to suit their own agenda and save face in the eyes of the public.

Things have not gotten better for squatters by any means in the following days. Multiple evictions have taken place on buildings that have been awaiting bailiffs for weeks, seemingly a rush by owners and bailiff companies to do business in the case that the government prevents them from doing so in the future. [Read More]

London: Eviction Of The Pie ‘N’ Mash Squat Cafe – We Must Push For No Evictions In This Crisis!

As I write this, I should have actually been emailing another article to the Freedom editorial team, announcing the shutdown of the Pie ‘n’ Mash Autonomous Social Cafe, and its rebirth as the Pie ‘n’ Mash Mutual Aid Centre (38-40 Deptford High St).

Instead, I write this from the lounge of a neighbouring squat, having been woken up by High Court bailiffs at 7am this morning. The day that we were to become the hub for sanitation of donations and distribution in the Deptford area, we were torn from our home, and left scrambling for our possessions. This despite a warning on the door that people in the building were attempting to self-isolate for the public safety – well-prepared bailiffs ascending the stairs kitted out in medical masks and rubber gloves.

Running with the momentum of the anarchist-instigated mutual aid groups that have blossomed in the South-East of London (and indeed across the country), a plan was set to set up the cafe as a centre for donations, which could then be sanitised, and those involved in assisting people who are self-isolating to be able to collect and clean gear before distributing. Recognising that the crona will affect the poorest the hardest, the plan was to also be able to provide basic household items to those who can least afford to ride out this wave. [Read More]

Rotterdam : 6 squats evicted in the Tweebosbuurt

In the early morning of the 6th of March, residents of the Tweebosbuurt in Rotterdam were shaken awake by police forces. The entire neighbourhood was locked down for a militarized eviction of 6 squats. 6 houses of which the residents were put on the street with their right to a home.
Beyond these symbolic houses, which brought some life back into the emptying neighbourhood, it’s all residents of the Tweebosbuurt that are the target here. Since several months, life in the area has turned into a more joyful reality again, in which residents’ resignation in the face of the demolition of their neighbourhood was seeping away. The authorities have thus decided to destroy these sparkles of hope: no squats, no solidarity, no joy, no hope.
But let them know that the destruction of our living spaces will not suppress our desire for freedom.
Squatting goes on. [Read More]

Samone di Guiglia (Modena): Eviction of an anarchist squat and arrests

On 28th February a group of people occupied a country house in the Samone countryside, in the province of Modena. There was no welcoming, already in the early afternoon cops, firemen and ROS threatened the eviction. Some went up on the roof and others barricaded themselves in the house, resisting the constant pressure and insistent threats, until the shits went away. The following day they came back calling all their friends over. They managed to storm the house beating and hitting with truncheons. Meantime some of the squatters went up the roof. Ten people were taken to the prison in Modena and arrested on charges of resistance, violence and insulting, some were handcuffed. Five squatters resisted on the roof for eight hours, they took it well in spite of the cold and the Apennine landscape obfuscated by the shits in uniform threatening to arrest everybody as soon as they came down. After they were granted permission to take their personal belongings they came down from the roof. As soon as they got down, however, they were taken to police headquarters in Sassuolo to be charged but once there they were photographed and fingerprinted. After the usual, long disgusting hours waiting, the noise made by people in solidarity at the gates made the cops release the five – not before physical and verbal threats to them, even before there were any charges for resistance, occupation and trespassing. [Read More]

Rotterdam: Illegal eviction of Tweebosstraat 120

On the 26th of February, employees of Vestia came to the door of a squat on Tweebosstraat 120. They knocked at the door, introducing themselves as the police. Obviously the squatters didn’t believe them, and refused to open the door anyway. Vestia threatened them to call the police, so they gave them the following documents proving they were living here for more than a week. Those documents were stamped by the OM on the 19th of February to prove the authenticity of the date.
According to Dutch law, those documents mean that Vestia is supposed to do a court case against the squatters in order to get an eviction order. After 48 hours of occupancy it’s illegal to evict a squat without an order from a judge. [Read More]

London: Paddington Green police station squat evicted

The Paddington Green police station squat was evicted. The operation saw more than 60 bailiffs, private security and, of course, the cops themselves, storming the building just after 7am. The residents have managed to resist for long enough to secure the time needed to gather their belongings.

The notorious high-security cop shop, best known as a place where people suspected of terrorism were held and questioned, had been squatted since the night of 7th February. That’s when the Green Anticapitalist Front, alongside squatters and other activists, took the decomissioned and abondoned in 2018 building, intending to turn it to a community centre.

The next day, the cops, whose egos must have clearly been bruised, unsuccessfully attempted to evict the space. They claimed it is a residential building (and therefore illegal to squat) and, reportedly, that not allowing them to come in and use a toilet is a breach of their human rights. [Read More]

Rotterdam: Tweebosbuurt callout for solidarity

For the freedom to occupy abandoned places, an eviction, 10 occupations!

In a few days from now, next Wednesday March 4th, 6 squats (3 of which officially and the rest very likely) are facing eviction, 6 homes people have been transforming and living in for months, whilst also fighting against the demolition and gentrification of the neighborhood. 6 houses whose residents will be thrown out onto the street with all their possessions by the police. The date of 4 March is decisive, both for the future of these homes and for the continuation of the battle here in Tweebosbuurt. We are therefore launching a call out to come and support us and to be present in solidarity during the evictions. [Read More]