London: Because they were poor: The Grenfell

Angry Londoner writes: “The people who died and lost their homes – this happened to them because they are poor,” Akala, rapper and poet, local resident.

“Regeneration is a euphemism for ethnic and class cleansing”: Kensington resident and writer Ishmahil Blagrove.

Guilty: Boris Johnson. When Mayor of London he put through cuts including the closure of 10 fire stations and the loss of 552 firefighters jobs despite pre-election promises not to do so. When questioned over this at the Greater London Assembly he said: “Get Stuffed”. The loss to the fire services meant a slower response time to the fire, with fire teams having to be called in from outside London.

Guilty: Kensington and Chelsea Council. They repeatedly ignored warnings for years from residents about fire hazards. They attempted to close down a blogger, Francis O’Connor, member of the Grenfell Action Group (GAG) after he warned about fire hazards at Grenfell. They sent a lawyer to threaten him, which he ignored. Nicholas Paget-Brown, leader of the council, attended a private dinner to which he was invited by organizers of the MIPIM (property developers’ event) conference in 2015. The council has had plans to cleanse the residents and build luxury flats in the neighbourhood for the last three years. Now Paget-Brown is trying to put blame on the residents by falsely saying that they objected to water sprinklers. [Read More]

London: Grenfell Tower must mark a turning point for UK housing

Grenfell Tower must mark a turning point for UK housing – community protest called for Saturday 18 June, 12 noon.

In response to the horror at Grenfell Tower, Grenfell Action Group and Radical Housing Network have called a protest at Kensington & Chelsea (RBKC) Town Hall this Saturday.

Radical Housing Network is a London-wide alliance of grassroots housing campaigns of which Grenfell Action Group are a member. The group are calling on estate campaigners, community groups and tenants from across London to join Saturday’s protest to demand #Justice4Grenfell. [Read More]

London: Justice for Grenfell Tower

‘Managed decline’ of council housing and contempt for tenants contributed to fire

Radical Housing Network, a London-wide alliance of groups fighting for housing justice, said the Grenfell fire was a tragic consequence of systematic disinvestment in council housing alongside disregard for council tenants safety and their concerns – and called for #JusticeforGrenfell.

The catastrophe at Grenfell Tower was foreseen by a community group on the estate. Just 7 months ago, Grenfell Action Group, a member of Radical Housing Network, warned that failings in the estate management organisation’s health and safety practices were a “recipe for a future major disaster”. These warnings were dismissed by Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea (RBKC) council.

It’s been revealed that Gavin Barwell, Conservative Chief of Staff and ex-Minister for Housing, ‘sat on’ a report warning that tower blocks were vulnerable to fire. Last year, Barwell was one of 312 Tory MPs who voted against making properties ‘fit for human habitation’. [Read More]

Squatters of London Action Paper 7

Squatters of London Action Paper number 7 is out now – pdf

London: Anarchist Haringey. Brief radical history of a London borough

Tottenham_The_Broadwater_Farm_Estate_N17I guess Tottenham is most known for its riots in 1985 and 2011. These were in no way organised or led by anarchists, and we were a very small part of them. But, they definitely showed the anger sections of the local community had toward the killing of members of their community by the police. This anger was also evident on the streets of Haringey when Joy Gardner and Roger Sylvester were also killed by the state. Local anarchists have always tried to stand side-by-side with those more directly affected.

But disquiet goes back a long way in Tottenham. In 1909 two alleged anarchists held up a payroll followed by a two-hour gun battle with the local police. Maybe not our most positive moment but still part of our local history. For more details, check out “Tottenham Outrage.”

Tottenham and anarchism probably go back a lot further but this is a quick and brief history of the last 30 or so years.

The early ’80s saw three different anarchist newspapers in Haringey. In 1984/5 there was the aptly named Soci@list Opportunist which lasted for six issues. Then there was Haringey Anarchist News in 1986 followed by Haringey Free in 1987/8. [Read More]

London: Belgravia squatters occupy third mansion

How_tall_is_a_tall_building_Buckingham_GateSquatting collective the Autonomous Nation of Anarchist Libertarians (ANAL) continue to underline exactly how much high-end housing is lying empty while homeless people sleep on the rain-soaked concrete, having spent last night moving into another mansion.
The group wrote: “Facing a police enforced eviction at 4 Grovesnor Gardens, ANAL have decided to relocate AS CLOSE TO THE QUEENS BEDROOM as possible…. Overlooking Wellington barracks, introducing our new squat, 19 Buckingham Gate.”
19 Buckingham Gate, which is just yards away from Buckingham Palace’s gardens, is the third property in a row to have been taken on by the collective, which took over 108 Easton Square in January (where they fended off fascist attackers) and 4 Grosvenor Gardens in February.
The overall site, 18-19 Buckingham Gate, is currently being given a slightly gaudy-looking makeover by developer Simpson Haugh and Partners, with a view to turning it into 14 luxury apartments for the sort of people who can afford to pay (if it’s anything like the neighbours’ place) £2.5 million a pop for the chance to get a good view of the royal behind.
The developer lists the owner as “private,” however if it’s not “18-19 Buckingham Gate Investment Ltd” then coincidences abound.
If ANAL keep up their current rate of mansion occupations they could have collectively squatted in properties worth well over £100m by the end of the year. [Read More]

London: SLAP! #5

Heads-up for the long-awaited Issue 5 of your friendly, local squatters’ paper.

SLAP! is a squatter’s freesheet first printed in early 2016. After a quick half-year of squat-hopping, sitting around and organising elsewhere, some of us involved in the previous four issues teamed up with others and knocked-together a fifth. SLAP! is back to support the flow of counter-info between London squats and act as a semi-regular message-board for squat happenings, updates and unapologetic ideas.
[Read More]

London: ANAL Belgravia squatters fight off fascist thugs

ANAL_Belgravia_squattersBelgravia squatters the Autonomous Nation of Anarchist Libertarians (ANAL) report that they fought off an attack on the 28th from heavies wearing fascist-linked masks, who seem to have been trying to get them out of the mansion belonging to Russian billionaire Andrey Goncharenko that they squatted on Wednesday.
At the time of writing they are asking for more support to head down to 102 Eaton Square to provide solidarity and support for the occupiers. In a series of notes from their Twitter account, they said:
[The] fascists [have been] fought/scared off. Police liaised and content. We would still appreciate numbers here to display that we will resist … They smashed windows while children were in a peaceful occupation wearing fascist face-scarfs. [The] mansion [is] being secured from the inside after attack by fascists. Children [have been] moved upstairs. No reports of injuries.
ANAL are working to turn the Belgravia squat, in the heart of one of London’s poshest areas, into a homeless shelter for the cold weather. 25 people have been housed so far and there are plans to hold movie nights and other events at the venue. Goncharenko’s representatives, MCA Shipping Ltd, are seeking a possession order and a hearing is scheduled for January 31st. [Read More]

London: Journalist Spotter Card

In the past year or so, the bottom feeders of the press managed to write many lurid stories about comrades in the UK and our networks, which have not only invaded people’s privacy but have put them at risk from the state and fash. These journalists infiltrated our protests and social events, took close range pictures, trawled social media and pieced together sensationalist and often wildly inaccurate pieces about individuals, and put footage on the internet that led to people being targeted by the cops.
[Read More]

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]

Deptford (South-East London): Communique from the Bank of No Money

Bank_of_no_money_Deptford_South_East_LondonWe are rats running rabid through the stinking guts of London …

Sick of the fractured ‘scene’ of squatters in London, sick of faux-punk venues and the fashionable veneer of rebellion, sick of the apathy and passivity, sick of housing where everyone is locked in their own rooms, their own lives, their existence atomised, stinking of fried chicken and choking on the bones of what once was, we came together to act …

We are a collective of those in active rebellion.

Warsaw. Barcelona. Roma. Thessaloniki. London. All over we meet in joint attack.

We organised on the beaches of London for the TRESPASS gig – selling propaganda to fashion punx and tourists about the trial of the Warsaw 3, dropping banners and smoke flares whilst the crowd rioted amongst itself, spitting in our faces and rejecting all politics.

We put on infonights, skyping with comrades from across Europe, and people came and listened, complained that there was nothing organised in London, that everything was too fluid, too temporary, that nothing ever happened, and we laughed to hide the tragedy of their blindness to their own domestication.

‘You can’t win’, they said, and we sneered, knowing our victory is in the struggle itself.

We meet in the streets outside squats under threat of eviction in Bethnal Green, Brixton, Aldwych, to jeer at bailiffs covered in paint, or see doors battered in, or taunt the cops and accuse them of murder by association. Though we called out for accomplices, few came, but enough remained to support each other and fight. [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]