The Barricade Inn was a squatted social centre in the centre of Dublin. During the peak of its activity over the summer of 2015 hundreds of people were involved in putting on events in the space that thousands of people attended. In this audio we talk to three WSM members who were involved in opening up and running The Barricade about what happened there and what lessons they drew from the experience.
Yesterday hundreds of people turned out to support the imaginative action which is known to all as Apollo house. Apollo House is the single point of light that emerged from an otherwise dismal year, a centennial year of significance, which gave us so little to be proud of. Homelessness, in spite of being a significant symptom of all that is wrong in our society, is both ignored and tolerated. Fortunately the sight of the homeless masses did not get in the way of the centenary celebrations of what a great little republic we have grown up to be.
The actions of the Irish Housing Network and the alliance of supporters which has become known as Home Sweet Home, has taken over an ugly brutalist building and former dole office on Tara Street, and gave homeless people hope of a fresh start. What it has also done is shone a light on the inhumane bureaucratic approach of this to dealing with people who live on the streets. Getting people who have no bed for the night, to phone a free phone number in order to secure one for a single night, only to be thrown back out into the dark pre-dawn streets to do it all again the next day. Apollo House is the golden lamp that emerges from 2016 – and that’s why it has touched the people of Ireland, and been so massively supported. It is an example of what this state should do to support the dispossessed, and would have been a far more fitting tribute than having parades or concerts. [Read More]
Hundreds of people responded to the High Court demanding the eviction of Apollo House by linking arms to form a protective ring around it. The judge refused the residents an extra week to find accommodation despite the housing minister failing to deliver what had been promised.
As the protest continued one resident told the Irish Times live feed that “We are not knocking on NAMA doors, we are kicking them in” People chanted ‘Homes not Hostels’, ‘Homes for All’ and ‘House the Homeless’ while a banner declared ‘Homeless people are not the problem, they are the result of the problem.’ Traveller activist Eileen Flynn who has volunteered at Apollo House told the crowd “We need to stand together … this is the best movement since 1916″
Speaking for Apollo House Rosie told the crowd about the betrayal of the minister and the treatment of residents who trusted his word but found conditions in the places they were brought to were “worse than prison”. She continued “They are treating us like dogs, they are treating us like fools, we are not taking it anymore, this housing crisis is going to end”. [Read More]
Ireland is in the depths of a severe homelessness crisis, with 7,000 people without a home. With the government refusing to act, some activists in Dublin did. Apollo House was occupied by Home Sweet Home Eire on the 15th December, to intervene in the housing crisis and to save lives.
There are around 190,000 vacant buildings in Ireland, that’s 27 houses for every homeless person.
The wealth divide is growing in Ireland and the lives of the homeless mean nothing to a government that values profit over people. For instance, Dublin is in the world’s top 15 for concentration of millionaires, something only intensified as the wealth trickled up after the financial crash. If it is shocking that the rich have become richer as the rest of us have gotten poorer, this is because of the class divide built into our society. When the capitalist class gains, the working class loses. [Read More]
Home Sweet Home squatted Apollo House in Dublin on Thursday 15 December. This building is the former Department of Social Protection offices, which is now being used to house the homeless.
THE DEMANDS OF APOLLO HOUSE RESIDENTS
“We want somewhere we can close the door behind us and call home.”
Apollo House in Dublin was squatted on Thursday 15 December. This building is the former Department of Social Protection offices, which is now being used to house the homeless.
A high court judge yesterday granted an injunction that directs the Home Sweet Home occupiers of Apollo House to vacate the building by noon on January 11th. This means that the occupiers will remain in the building until after Christmas which is some good news but it still means that the State is quite willing to forcibly eject people from safe accommodation back out onto freezing streets or into unsafe, sub standard accommodation.
Dublin: Video tour of previous Dublin eviction by injunction sites on the morning of Apollo House hearing
This video was shot on the morning of the Apollo House injunction hearing at the High Court, 21st December. As well as footage from outside the courts on our way there we had earlier visited the sites of other occupied buildings evicted in the last 20 months. We discovered all of them were still vacant and in most cases no visible work at all had been done on them.
Apollo house is a NAMA building occupied to provide emergency accommodation for homeless people. 35-40 people have been accommodated there over the last couple of nights. As expected the judge granted the injunction, it will come into operation on January 11th.
We visit 4 other occupations evicted after the same judge granted injunctions over the previous 20 months. All four of those sites are currently vacant and in 3 cases no apparent work has been done. At the largest, Grangegorman all the habitable structures have now been demolished, it had previously housed 30 people. [Read More]
The massive complex of squatted buildings at Grangegorman was evicted for a second time in early August, this time its likely to be permanent at the plan is to build a huge number of expensive to rent student apartments on the site.
The eviction was anticipated and a lot of material was moved over the days around August 11th when ‘heavies’ broke through the gates but were told to back off and allow time for material to be moved out when the Garda arrived. The squatters were quietly moving to another large abandoned building nearby that had been squatted recently, the Debtors Prison on Halston street. Central Dublin is full of such abandoned buildings despite the worst housing crisis in the history of the state. Welcome to Ireland 2016 where protecting the rights of vulture funds to make millions come far, far ahead of needs of those without secure accommodation.
Parts of the Grangegorman site had been abandoned for 20 years as they were assembled into a speculative land package. The total site included 3 very large warehouses, 3 houses and 2 office buildings and a shop as well as one enormous central courtyard and a number of smaller ones. With the 2009 crisis the original developer ended up in NAMA who evicted the site a little over a year ago and then sold it to more property speculators, details below. This new group then abandoned the site so was occupied once more a few months ago and has provided housing to up to 30 people since then as well as being the site of art performances and solidarity fundraisers. [Read More]
Dublin: Abandoned prison occupied by squatters who want to open it as art / community space – State says NO!
What may have been the largest squat in Europe, at Grangegorman in Dublin, was recently evicted for the second time. A major hardship for the 30 people living there but one that was rapidly improved on when many of them moved a kilometre down the road and occupied a long abandoned prison.
The Debtors Prison on Halston street was built in 1794 and actually lies between Halston Street and Green Street. The ‘U’ shaped 3 storey building is built of granite and limestone and was built as a luxury prison for the wealthy who had run up gambling debts. There were 33 such rooms / cells which were rented either furnished or unfurnished. If you weren’t rich you were thrown into the basement, Dublin at the time had 5 debtors prison and this one alone could accommodate 100.
It later saw use as a police barracks, both the RIC and the Garda, and in the 1960s for public housing. After that it was threatened with demolition in the period when many historic buildings and indeed squares were pulled down to make way for ‘development’ before being leased by Students Against the Destruction of Dublin, a campaigning group formed by architecture students in the 1980s and then handed back to the Office of Public Works (OPW). [Read More]
The Debtors Prison on Halston Street has recently been occupied by a collective of artists. The prison has been left empty and has fallen into disrepair. The occupants are currently seeking support and cooperation from the organisation responsible for the maintenance of the building, the Office of Public Works, as well as the local community. The occupants have stated that their intention is to restore the building and open the ground floor for exhibitions and walking tours which would highlight social injustices from the past until today. The occupants are hard at work preparing the space and launching projects.
[Note mainstream media is reporting the squat has already been given a week’s notice of eviction]
Friends, neighbours, comrades, Squat City is under attack! The rich, nasty vulture fund who have acquired the place we call home have been given official, judicial approval to kick us out (and then try to make us pay for doing so). The injunction, granted on Wednesday the 20th of July, comes into effect on the 10th of August. Some time on or after that date, their minions will show up. And we all know what happens then.
We would like to invite everybody to Squat City on Saturday for our first open day since the reoccupation. Between 1pm and 5pm, everybody is welcome through the side gate on Lower Grangegorman, whether they know us already or not!
We’ll be serving food and showing people around the space and answering any questions they have. [Read More]