Bristol: ‘Burn Baby Burn!’

The chant goes up into the air as the flames of the cop van rise higher and higher, burning away a pressure that has been building for far too long.
The cop station’s windows are kicked in to the roaring joy of the crowd, its raining rocks from above on the riot cops from youths who’ve occupied part of its roof. Repeated attacks on the cop lines are visibly putting the fear into them. Bottles rain down on the cop dog unit’s failed attempt to assault the mob from behind. Riot shields and batons liberated from the cops are used to fight back, a piece of their own medicine. Others are caring for people sprayed with mace, while sound systems ring out. Another cop car is burning round the corner, this is like nothing we have seen before…

This is the scene in Bristol in 2021, 10 years since the Stokes Croft & August riots in 2011. The riot that erupted last night was a continuation of our combative memories, but from seeing so many new young uncontrollables it is the beginning of a new wave. Nothing much has changed on this prison island since 2011, if anything the conditions that led to those days are still with us, more repressive than ever. We’re being pushed over the edge, as the system of control demands either lick the boot or have our way of life extinguished. [Read More]

Bristol: Glenfrome Road eviction resistance report

This is a report from participants in the successful eviction resistance in Bristol on 13th June.

Soon after 6 in the morning around 30 bailiffs from GRC turned up at a site in St Werburgh’s with a JCB to do the dirty work of making people homeless. The people squatting the land and over 100 friends and supporters had other ideas. Here’s how it went.

Now as we all know, all bailiffs are total scum, but GRC bailiffs have a reputation for being the worst of the worst. They have repeatedly shown how they enjoy hurting people and mixing work with pleasure. There are undoubtedly far right thugs in their ranks, enthusiastically honouring the age old tradition of fascists doing the dirty work for the bosses and landlords.

On the other side stood people who had found their housing solution, living in vans and trucks on a large piece of disused land which had been empty for a decade or so. Travellers and van dwellers need safe sites and self organised housing makes even more sense during a pandemic. You’d think the same would be true of not evicting people during a dangerous virus outbreak, but when has what’s right ever mattered for the rule of property and the law that protects it? [Read More]

UK: Raids on Traveller sites condemned by campaigners

In the last week several Traveller communities as well as Traveller rights campaigners have been subjected to police raids. The police claim the “Operation Elven” series of raids, including one at Smithy Fen Traveller site in Cambridge, supposedly concern thefts of Chinese artefacts and rhinoceros horn from museums and auction houses across England and Ireland. However, police have been accused of serial heavy-handedness and faulty intelligence.
[Read More]