London: Police exploit anti-racist BLM rally to arrest green activists

Three people, including green activists, were arrested by a City of London snatch squad at today’s Black Lives Matter march.

Two who were sitting in Hyde Park in the early part of the day were swarmed by around 20 police who arrested them under a City of London warrant, allegedly over an incident on February 28th.

Freedom has since heard that a squatted social centre in Islington was also raided under a Section 18 search.

The arrests are just the latest of many which have taken place over the course of the last week, as police attempt to keep a handle on a militant mood which has driven large rallies against racism and in support of black lives matter.

The march itself, which was moved at short notice to today following threats from the far-right, was otherwise a success, with thousands of people marching from Hyde Park to Trafalgar square as part of the peaceful protest. [Read More]

London: Squatters are people. Don’t evict them from safety

In the wake of the global Corona Virus (Covid-19) pandemic everyone needs protection especially because it is critical to saving lives. The continued eviction of squatters and in some incidents renters puts everyone at risk.

But this is where we are. Abandoned and empty buildings matter more than the shared responsibility of keeping everyone safe. While the media is swirled with stories of rough sleepers being put up in hotels and hostels, the invisible homeless, the squatters are finding themselves on the streets due to evictions. During this dangerous pandemic, the police are teaming up with landlords to illegally evict squatters onto the street. During this dangerous pandemic when other evictions have been halted, the courts are still entertaining putting squatters onto the street. The state has taken the route of abandoning the well being of those under its protection including its own citizens. [Read More]

UK: Evictions make us sick!

Squat solidarity! This MayDay squatters from across the U.K. have come together to co-ordinate decentralised actions across the country to highlight our plight and address our needs. Both residential and commercial buildings have been occupied to provide housing for ourselves and the others left high and dry during this time of crisis, and banners have been dropped in support by squats not yet facing imminent eviction. Land has been taken to repurpose for clean open space and food, and food distribution is taking place to aid all who are struggling.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, emergency legislation was introduced and put a stay to all evictions for 90 days. However, it took just three weeks for the judges to surrender to the pressure from bailiffs, landlords and banks, and amend the law. Squatting cases will continue to be heard via phone, and bailiffs are now again smashing through our doors the way they always have – but this time we’re in the middle of a global pandemic and it’s scarier than ever before. [Read More]

London: Police officers assist business owner to carry out eviction in Hackney Wick

Occupants removed from the building despite ongoing pandemic.

Police officers assisted a business owner to carry out in eviction on Hackney Wick on 29 April, removing the building’s occupants despite government advice to “stay at home” due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The incident at 5 Prince Edward Road on 29 April is the latest in a string of evictions carried out since the UK’s lockdown measures were introduced on 23 March.

Evictions have carried on, despite the government committing to a “complete ban on evictions” on 18 March. [Read More]

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]

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]

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]

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]

London: Living in the cracks. How housing has fallen into crisis

The causes of the housing crisis are, in a nutshell, the unchecked power of landlords, the 40-year attack on social housing and stagnant wages. The consequences are people sleeping in tents and doorways and under bridges, children in A&E with constant chest infections, poverty, debt, mental distress, and endless moving.

One of the major causes of the housing crisis is the undermining and running down of social housing. Since the introduction of Right to Buy in 1980, 1.5 million council houses have been sold, 40% of which are now rented out by private landlords. Alongside Right to Buy there has been a campaign of slurs by media and politicians against people in social housing, with other people encouraged to despise or resent them for the high rent other tenants pay.

As well as Right to Buy, many councils are knocking down large estates and redeveloping the land as high-density private housing, often purchased as an investment not a home. Tenants are usually rehoused locally but there is a loss of social housing in the area which increases the length of the waiting list. On many council bidding pages now the number of flats on offer is in the single figures, while 1.1 million households are on waiting lists. [Read More]

London: New week of action venue. Welcome to GRASS!

While Green London is still holding strong in the former Paddington Green Police Station, we felt it was unfair to bring members of the public into a situation where they could be exposed to the aggressive and threatening behaviour of the police and bailiffs. We have therefore, while continuing our occupation of Green London, decided to open a new social space for our week of action: the Green Revolutionary Anticapitalist Social Space. GRASS!

GRASS is located in the former George Pub near Holloway Road tube station. It is a warm and welcoming building which we are very happy to be using, and look forward to welcoming you in.
Our new address is 9 Eden Grove, Islington N7 8EE. Just a stone’s throw from Holloway Station!
We will be opening this Tuesday. Our openings hours will be 12.00-10.00 each day for the week of action. We have a full programme planned so check it out. [Read More]

London: Police Station is squatted! Join the resistance!

London squatters are organising an anarchist social centre in a notorious secure police station in central London. It is leading to a week of action for GAF, Green Anti-capitalist Front, from 24th February to 2nd March. Come and help with this once-in-a-generation opportunity to perfect barricading and organise towards the COP26 and more! We look forward to welcoming you to this liberated space for global resistance in a centre of international capitalism.


Green Radical Anticapitalist Social Space (GRASS) in Paddington

Was nice to meet Oli (and Rich!) from JOE.co.uk the other day! The GRASS (Green Radical Anticapitalist Social Space) was originally formulated as the result of a public assembly to come up with ideas to tackle capitalism in ways that not only ‘stick it to the man’, but demonstrate that it’s entirely practical and possible to build a new society. A society based on fairness, compassion, co-ordination and communal working and living. The sort of society where no one will be without a home or a chance to live a fulfilling life. [Read More]