London: Check out that A.S.S.

Squatters beware – there have been multiple cases in the last few weeks of people being arrested for burglary when squatting a place. With that in mind the Advisory Service for Squatters (A.S.S.) would like to remind people a few things to keep them safe if faced with arrest:

  1. No comment – You might be able to explain your situation to the police, but in 99% of cases what you say to them will not get you out of the cells any faster, and can be used to incriminate you or any other people arrested. If you go to court it can all be used against you, especially if you are caught fibbing to the rozzers. Say NO COMMENT to any questions the police ask you and keep you and your crew safe.
  2. Have a bail address – someone who doesn’t mind telling the police that you stay with them sometimes and that you can possibly stay with for a bit if the police do put any bail conditions on you. You don’t want to give them an excuse to keep you in prison.
  3. Know a legal firm to call – don’t in any circumstances take the duty solicitor provided by the police. Remember the name of one of the solicitor firms on the bust card, available at all good anarchist soical centres and refuse t have an interview until your lawyers are called.

Good luck out there! Feed the pigeons!

From Squatters of London Action Paper Issue 9 (pdf) – back issues here

NFA Antifascists

London: Report back from TAA May

Temporary Autonomous Arts was in May determined to return to its roots as a squatted exhibition. A decrepit long term empty in Bow was transformed into a blank canvas by the TAA mob, who then were boosted after 24 hours notice after a rapid-response possession order requested them to attend High Court in Birmingham. Undeterred, a second building was snatched in North Woolwich and repurposed against the clock. The TAA opened as planned on the Wednesday to a splatter of spoken word,followed up by a blinding cabaret gig featuring public urination, wild drag anarchy from Jizmik Hunt and the body-positive monarchy-bashing of Glittasphxia.

Saturday things started turning sour, with a day of escalating violence and conflict between the squatters and locals over accusations of the graffing of a pie’n’mash shop and breakins by kids into thee building culminating with 20 roided-up cops turning up to face-off against the 60 or so mob holding the courtyard. The gigs were
cut short after the cops broke out the Criminal Justice Act and threatened to seize the sound system. Concerned for the safety of the artworks, equipment and liberty of the guests, the TAA crew elected to keep the music off and let the night deflate like a wet fart in a wet paper bag. Opinions are divided, with some people furious
that another building in London has been burnt for the sake of a “anarchohipster lollapallooza”, and others
arguing that the TAA crew made a tactical decision in a tight spot.

From Squatters of London Action Paper Issue 9 (pdf) – back issues here

NFA Antifascists

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London: Kurdistan Place

Kurdish youth and supporters, some linked to Plan C, have occupied a vacant building near Edgware Road.

Kurdistan Place was occupied by friends of Anna Campbell last week in solidarity with the Kurdish Freedom Movement. In a statement, the occupiers said:

We want this space to enable learning about Kurdish culture and Kurdish liberation’s emancipatory politics. We also want this space to enable solidarity and anti-capitalist organising. Anna was involved with a similar project in 2012 called Palestine Place, an occupation of a building in Chancery Lane, which was set up to highlight the need for solidarity, support and knowledge about the occupation of Palestinian territories in the West Bank and the ongoing siege of Gaza by Israel and Egypt. We want to use this space as a means to promote radical social change and revolution.

[Read More]

London: Radical Residency

Welcome to the Radical Residency! This is a space created by students, artists, radicals, unwaged and waged workers and activists. Radical Residency was set up by poc, queer and radical peeps who scrawl their joy and their rage upon the walls. We put on workshops and events that challenge traditional education and political institutions. We celebrate through solidarity, music, art and learning. We nurture self-development and self-awareness, being reflective and critical of all that we know and that we strive towards. Drop your binaries and your prejudices at the door and actively engage through radical listening and participation.

On Friday 9th March we are having our hearing at 3:30pm at the County Court at The Mayors and City of London Court Guildhall Buildings, Basinghall Street, London EC2V 5AR. We are calling for support and solidarity. Share with your comrades and help us remind the trustees of the British Museum who the real thieves are.

Below is our manifesto:
[Read More]

London: Solidarity space

Since temperatures are so low and homelessness is still a big issue, some people came to an idea of opening a safe space shelter available to everyone! [Squatted March1, still there March6]

So the building is at 204 Great Portland Street, entrance from 56 Bolsover Road (Sophia House). At the moment there’s some issues with electricity, however there is possibility to brew hot drinks and despite lack of heating at the moment it is still warmer & dryer than out on the street
[Read More]

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]

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]