Bristol: Operation Rhone and the Badger hunt

Note: Since this article was published Bristol anarchist Emma Sheppard was sentenced to 2 years in prison in relation to criminal damage of police cars, as part of Operation Rhone. See letter from Em for more info.

When Bristol anarchist Huw ‘Badger’ Norfolk legged it somewhere in late-August 2011, word spread fast across Bristol’s anarchist & radical communities. His decision to absent himself from all and any police investigations was immediately apparent to the many friends he’d had no time to say good-bye to. No doubt many suspected this escape to somewhere would be short-lived. Instead nothing, just the one shout-out from online anonymity(1) two months later, in which he stated his non-compliance bluntly.

Fast-forwards to December 2014 and Badger’s face is staring at us from every national and many local media outlets. Crimestoppers and Avon & Somerset Police’s Operation Rhone announce a £10k reward for information, whilst forcing his parents in north-west Bristol into the media spotlight too(2). Badger is wanted for two specific actions, although no evidence is cited for either. It’s made clear the Badger hunt, and the two actions, are just a part of their investigation into over 100 actions by ‘persons unknown’(3) over the last four years. [Read More]

Squatting in England: Heritage & Prospects

Over the past few years, there has been a push to criminalize squatting across Western Europe. But in a time of increasing economic instability, can governments succeed in suppressing squatting? What is at stake here?

This article reviews the background and contemporary context of squatting in England, beginning after the Second World War and comparing the current movement to its counterparts on mainland Europe. It touches on many stories: migrants squatting to build a life safe from fascist attacks, gay activists finding spaces in which to build up a scene, vibrant and insurgent squatted areas, single-issue campaigns occupying as a direct action tactic, and anti-capitalist groups setting up social centers. We hope this text will help those in present-day struggles to root themselves in the heritage of previous movements. [Read More]

UK: Why did the Bristol Stokes Croft Riot Happen? A Community-Based View of Events

Why did the Bristol Stokes Croft Riot Happen? A Community-Based View of Events (April Bank Holiday, 2011)
We attempt to tell the story of what happened through the eyes of local people building up a picture of the chain of events which led to a riot close to the centre of Bristol. As well as testament filmed over the subsequent days we also include footage from the unrest. We also hope this will help in the understanding of why it happened.

Bristol riots: Police tactics questioned after second night of violence in Stokes Croft

Questions are being asked as to why a peaceful protest descended into violence on Thursday night in Stokes Croft.

From around 9pm onwards crowds had gathered for a previously-cancelled protest against alleged police brutality during the riots a week earlier before violence broke out at around 1am.

Protesters stood outside the Telepathic Heights squat – the scene of a police raid which sparked last week’s violence – playing music while several police vans waited cautiously nearby.

According to police reports, mounted officers and riot police moved in at around 1am after a small group began throwing bottles at officers. [Read More]

Bristol (UK) – Stokes Croft Riot after massive police raid against Telepathic Heights squat

Stokes Croft Riot after massive police raid against Telepathic Heights squat

April 21, 2011. 10pm. A riot starts after a 160 strong multi-regional police force coordinated assault shuts down a district and breaks down the door of a squat named ‘Telepathic Heights’ in Bristol.

The cops then violently harass local people and get attacked in return. Telepathic Heights is in the busy cultural area of Stokes Croft, Bristol, where there are many bars, cafes, squats, community projects, etc. 300 people fight the police for hours and hours in response to the police occupation of the neighbourhood. A corporate supermarket is looted and destroyed, whilst none of the other (independently-owned) shops on the streets are touched in the disturbance.

[Read More]