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finished an article regarding the situation regarding squats and ongoing evictions in Britain the information became outdated, as emergency procedural changes were brought in by the government, in theory protecting everyone, squatters, renters, and the street homeless, from the risks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]

Brighton: DIY Kodak Update

Apologies for the delayed update – the past couple of days have been busy! For everyone wondering how the eviction went, we just wanted to let you know that we have managed to find some temporary storage solutions and no one has ended up back out in the streets.

As ever, we fully intend intend to keep this project going and will keep you updated about our next steps.

Watch this space…

With love and solidarity,
The DIY Kodak Collective

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]

London: Paddington Green Police Station occupation in anticipation of our week of action

On the night of February 7th, a group of activists from the Green Anti-Capitalist Front, alongside squatters and other activists, occupied the abandoned High security police station at Paddington Green. The intention is to hold the space and turn it into a community centre, the activities of which will culminate in a week of action against capitalism.
This is motivated by the belief that capitalism by its very nature will continue to destroy our planet and ultimately our civilisation. We chose this building because the police have time and again shown that they will gladly break their own laws to suppress any challenge to the entrenched, unjust, systems our society is based on.
Only by moving beyond the inherent oppression of capitalism to a system based on co-operation and communality, can we hope to survive in any meaningful way to the end of this century.
During the week of action the space will host workshops, skill shares, socials, planning sessions and a wide variety of other informative and entertaining events while also acting as a base from which to launch actions to reclaim our public space from corporations and government, and strike at the very heart of capital. We will show the mega rich and powerful that we will not stand for their greed and corruption. [Read More]

Brighton: Direct action to prevent deaths on the streets

A squatted night shelter in Brighton is housing homeless people. The Canary visited the squat and spoke to residents about the project.

Back in December 2019, people in Brighton called an emergency meeting to discuss how to act in solidarity with those facing life on the streets. The initiative was taken by Brighton’s Queer AF anti-fascist alliance and other grassroots groups.

Soon, activists took control of an empty Kodak shop on Brighton’s London Road and began using it to house rough sleepers. This week, the group squatted another unused building: the old Poundstretcher building on London Road.
[Read More]

Brighton: Don’t despair, organise! DIY Kodak Collective squatted night shelter

London Road in Brighton is a clear example of the austerity crisis in Britain. The road is lined with closed businesses and people in every doorway. On Christmas Eve, a group of community activists opened the doors to a squatted night shelter with a sign that read “Room at the Inn”, inviting rough sleepers to get warm over the Christmas week. The DIY Kodak Collective, named after the photography shop that used to be there, is still holding the shelter weeks later – as well as space for people to sleep, there are daily communal meals, a place to create art and a free shop. The building has become somewhere safe, warm and creative for homeless people to escape the winter weather, socialise and sleep, and, as it is a DIY shelter, people are able to exercise their own autonomy when it comes to using the space.
[Read More]