WAKE UP!! WAKE UP!! It's yer horsing about.
The free weekly direct action newsheet published in Brighton since 1994 - Copyleft - Information for Action
With the new squatting laws now in force, the first shot across the bows from Brighton Plod came this week when they waded into a London Road squat that had previously been empty for a year.
Although the mixed-use commercial/residential building has been squatted for a month, the cops arrived on Monday having been called in by private security firm Veritas. The goons had failed on two previous attempts to illegally evict the occupants so – since the offence of squatting in a residential building came into force on 1st September – they turned to the 'professionals' to do the job for them.
The first cops arrived around midday and the squatters explained that, since last week, no one was 'living' in the residential parts of the building and therefore no one was committing an offence. Unfortunately the police didn't buy this explanation and eventually called in backup to smash down the door. While a jeering crowd of about 40 squatters, supporters and bemused passers-by watched, the police spent nearly ten minutes attacking the front door with a battering ram.
When they eventually made it in they still had to get past a barricaded staircase to reach the first floor, where they discovered three squatters had squirrelled themselves away in the loft – gluing their hands together in the process. A telescopic ladder, a specialist lock-on team and a couple of hours later, and the three resisters were carried out to one of the eight waiting cop vans. Meanwhile two other masked persons unknown had taken up residence on the roof of the building and – having been threatened with arrest if they came down – sensibly remained there throughout the eviction.
The security company have now re-secured both the first floor flat and basement, but the squatters, so far, remain in possession of the shop. As far as SchNEWS is aware, these are the first ever arrests under the new law though they are unlikely to be the last. If you're currently squatting a residential or mixed-use building we recommend boning up on the law and building some barricades.
Brighton squatters had already announced their intentions to take action against the ban starting at Victoria Gardens at 2pm on Saturday 13th October. For more info check network23.org/snob.
For general squatting advice checkout the Advisory Service for Squatters.
All three of the arrestees were charged with abstraction (leccy theft), obstruct police and residential squatting. They were held for court on Tuesday with the CPS strongly opposing bail as they were of no fixed abode and liable to re-offend. However the judge ruled that he wouldn't punish the defendents for their lifestyle and released them all on unconditional bail. They're due back in court for a plea hearing on 30th October, you can rely SchNEWS to keep you abreast of any developments.
So the landowner came, saw the numbers of protecters, the lock-ons, the bike-powered smoothie makers and the music, and returned home after refusing to talk to either the protesters or the press. But it isn't over – bailiffs could return at any time. Email GH your phone number if you want to be part of the phone tree or join the mailing list on the website: http://www.transitionheathrow.com… firstname.lastname@example.org
Mass squatting action in metal recycling plant pulled off in style, after brutal policing leaves hundreds of undocumented people without shelter.
AS campaigners in the Forest of Dean (and elsewhere) prepare to do battle with the Government's Infrastructure Bill to keep our land public, barricades have gone up to prevent a sudden land grab on a community-run farm.
Amsterdam squat evicted in gentrification battle.
Mass evictions of migrants in progress now
Re-occupation of the Hambach Forest, near Cologne in Germany, where activists occupy and fight the expansion of opencast mining.
Many undocumented people have spent a harsh winter on the streets in Calais after squat clampdown.
Fascist demonstration planned tomorrow near Calais, fash presence increasing. People needed to defend new squat