Squatter’s Digest: Grow Heathrow halved, ciao to Asilo

From Freedom News with thanks

I do have a pretty good excuse for being a little late in writing this month’s column, namely being arrested and remanded for a squatting-related offence (of which I am not guilty for the record, as I will be testifying at trial later in the year).

At least I’m not all talk and no walk huh.

Fraguas Lives Again.. Fraguas Revive

A couple of nights in the cells isn’t so bad though – let’s start this round-up with some hard-hitting news from abroad. The Fraguas case in Spain. For those not aware of the situation, since 2013 a group of squatters calling themselves the Association of Rural Repopulation of Sierra Norte, more commonly Fraguas Revive, occupied an abandoned village in Guadalajara near Madrid.

see also.. Fraguas : Occupiers of abandoned village face jail as Appeal Fails ‎  

The intention was to breathe life back into the village that was left empty since the expropriation by the Franco regime, and to provide space for people to imagine and act out utopias of the future through self-organisation and sustainability.

This short vid gives an overview and visuals of the Fraguas project (in Spanish)
Unfortunately the municipal government of Guadalajara came down hard on the group, for daring to carve out their own destinies. Back in 2018 the provincial courts sentenced six of the people involved in the project to approximately 3,000 Euros in fines each, and an 18-month jail sentence, for the crime of usurping land from local authorities without permission.

They immediately took this to the appeal courts, but unfortunately last month the court upheld the decision, and they will now have to serve their sentences.

In addition they refuse to pay the costs of demolishing the buildings they have repaired, although this may also result in an extra nine months incarceration for non-payment. An impressive stance to take, and my non-existent hat goes off to them.

An interesting note is that the government utilised these laws on the basis that the village was now part of the Natural Park, so therefore couldn’t be considered a dwelling, and they were able to screw them with the serious charges rather than the more administrative process that tends to take place for squatting in Spain.

Similarly there are regulations here in the UK about “royal” parks, and police are able to simply remove with force anyone they wish. I have seen this abused by the Met Police to break in, beat up, and evict people squatting an abandoned caretaker’s in north London.

There isn’t too much more to this analysis than just to say it’s funny that where parks and natures are supposed to be there for people to participate in and enjoy, and where the regulations are supposedly there to protect those notions, they are abused at the first opportunity to uphold social order.

Grow Heathrow cut back

Further bad news, which is a running theme in this column as well as the squatting world in general, is that the eviction process of Grow Heathrow has finally begun.

see also .. Urgent support call-out as Grow Heathrow eviction looms

Started almost nine years ago in Sipson village on the outskirts of London, it is land that was supposed to be the site of the proposed new runway for Heathrow airport. Political protest, land reclamation, and communal living have been part of the project as it has evolved over the years.

The plan to evict has been long fought in the courts, and has been muddied by the squatting of a second adjacent plot of land that is owned by a different owner, making the enforcing of any Possession Orders logistically very difficult. However the time has come that the owner of the original site, Imran Malik, wants it back.

About 7.30am Tuesday (the evening standard reports 8:30am, but our local squat networks of course were on the blower much earlier about the situation – remember to sign up to the “NELSN” London phone network on 07575013111) the first High Court Enforcement bailiffs from the National Eviction Team arrived on the scene, and not long after they had gained access to the front half of the site.

During the eviction Grow Heathrow got some unexpected support from local school children.

Our hippy friends took to the tunnels and the tree-houses, with one person locking themselves to the turbine tower, and another going underground into the tunnels with food and water to last several days. Dig little mole, dig!

While the squatter up the tower has since been cut away, squatters from across London are making their way to support the Grow Heathrow crew as they remain in the second-half of the site, planning resistance, and of course the ninth birthday party in just few weekends’ time. See you there.

The call is still out for people to join the resistance, the bailiffs are booked for up to two weeks to carry out the eviction, so anyone from London (or further) who has the time and energy feel free to go and get involved: Grow Heathrow, Vineries Close, West Drayton, UB7 0JH.


Curent situation: February 28th

Freedom spoke to a Grow Heathrow member today who said: “We want people to know we are still on the back lands! We have lost our kitchen, front garden, bike racks, art space and front guest cabin – and we will be rebuilding those on the back part of site over the coming weeks.

“Most houses are on back lands, as is our music space, toilet, shower, fruit trees, bees and forest area, so the resistance is still strong and bailiffs are letting people through to visit the site.”


Asilo evicted

Sticking with evictions, Asilo (the Asylum), longest-standing squat in Torino, Italy, said farewell on February 7th. For almost 25 years it was a hub of radical and local organising. The premise for the break-in was the arrest of six people purported to be involved in explosive attacks against institutions involved in the detention and deportation of migrants.

Disappointing to say the least that the fire brigade helped the police into the building, and then issued a condemnation notice. It’s always nice to think of the fire brigade as an essential and welcome public service, and there’s no need for them to be complicit in such an action. Boo.

Asilo before the eviction

Eccles upbeat

One bit of good news does exist however, in Eccles, Greater Manchester. In November a group of homeless people took over an abandoned NHS building and have turned it into a homeless centre, helping people to keep a roof over their head while seeking the support they need.

They have since been taken to court by the NHS (see above for institutions that needn’t be complicit in upholding state repression), but were almost immediately after granted a stay on the execution of the Possession Order while they appeal. Your author doesn’t know the current state of the appeal, but as at the time of writing they were still occupying the building.

Beyond the urban

A bit disjointed, this month’s letter is perhaps lacking in a cohesive theme, or particular analysis of things squatirical, but it is interesting to look at some of the squats that exist outside of the cities.

Resistance, and organisation, is often different to that which I and others experience in the cities of abundant ephemeral squats. I certainly have found this to be the case, and found it to be eye-opening and valuable when visiting and participating in more rural resistances.

Then there are many cases of indigenous occupations, that somewhat transcend the conventional understanding of the word squat, even if it indeed describes their legal status.

From the water protectors occupying the pipelines at Standing Rock, to the slum villages of South Africa where groups like Abahlali baseMjondolo are organising local and indigenous to fight against evictions, and to Kenya, where villages without ownership are under threat of eviction from government forces at any time.

I won’t offer any attempts at humorous commentary on these situations, they exist in the reality of others’ experiences, but I am seeking to learn more about resistance across the globe, and implore others to do so too.

The world is fucked up, and as capitalism drives people further from feasible housing solutions, squatting, amongst other forms of resistance, becomes more important, if harder to actually live out.

The opportunity to organise ourselves and take charge of our housing, our lives, exists in these spaces. We can’t give them up.

On that note, I’ll be looking to not give up my own squat as we face imminent eviction early next month. Keep your fingers crossed for us all and we’ll see you next time.


Via Freedom News with thanks

The Reykjavík Grapevine, “Iceland’s Own Paris Commune: The House At Vatnsstígur 4”


Iceland’s Own Paris Commune: The House At Vatnsstígur 4

Catalonia: Kan Bici resists! Week of Resistance against the eviction, 4 till 11 May

Hi comrades and friends! The eviction of Kan Bici is probably taking place on May 10th 2018 and it is assumed that the “forces of order” will do their dirty work in one way another.

We want to invite you to participate in the activities that we have been able to prepare for the week of resistance (still missing things to confirm). We ask for the maximum distribution of the posters added to this mail. in ENGLISH

Apart from the prepared activities there is the call for decentralized actions for the day of eviction that leaves  a “free hand” to all of you to act  according to anarchist/revolutionary ideas against the system of domination and his defenders.

Between all we can prevent the eviction of Kan Bici!
Long live the Anarchy!
Kan Bici resists!

Program of the week of the Week of Resistance, from 4 till 11 may https://squ.at/r/4qkj : Continue reading “Catalonia: Kan Bici resists! Week of Resistance against the eviction, 4 till 11 May”

Homeless sanctuary Evicted to make way for Luxury Homes

   Bailiffs and police evicted ‘Occupy Bournemouth’ squatters’ camp. People living there set off flares and threw paint before their tents are removed
  • Around 30 people have been living at Occupy Bournemouth’s ‘Homeless Sanctuary’ since start of December
  • Group moved in and barricaded themselves on private land of speculators intended to become new luxury accommodation blocks
  • But Bournemouth Council ordered an eviction notice for squatting and now bailiffs are clearing the camp
  • Protesters threw coloured dye and paint at eviction officers while there were heated scenes with police

Clashes have broken out as bailiffs and police tried evicted a homeless squatters’ camp in Bournemouth.   

Protesters set off flares and launched paint and dye at eviction thugs as authorities cut their way onto the disused site.

As many as 30 people have been living on the closed off piece of land in the seaside town since before Christmas.

They are understood to be a mixture of homeless people and campaigners from the group Occupy Bournemouth, who were evicted after taking over the town hall in 2012.

This camp consisted of around 20 tents, had its own kitchen, a constant campfire and a medical tent. In the days leading up until Christmas, it even had a seven-foot tall tree complete with lights and decorations.  Continue reading “Homeless sanctuary Evicted to make way for Luxury Homes”

Police Attack Occupied Utopia: Errekaleor Under Siege: Solidarity Appeal

Waiting to greet our friends with firecrackers and flags on June 3rd
The largest squat and self-managed district in the Spanish state is in Gasteiz and is called Errekaleor and has at least 150 inhabitants. At the moment it is besieged by the Ertzaintza, the Basque police forces in the service of speculation and the Spanish State .
Over 10,000 people came out to defend the occupied anti-capitalist neighbourhood on June 3rd. Dozens were injured or arrested by riot police who dug up the street to cut electricity cables to the barrio.  
The mayor of Vitoria, Gorka Urtaran, has promised that he will destroy the amazing revolutionary Errekaleor project and evict  the occupiers, including many children and a 3 month old baby, whom the PNV politician defined as “anti-system”

Who are We?

By   Anonymous Contributor    ..   Errekaleor Bizirik is an occupied neighborhood at the edge of Vitoria-Gasteiz, Araba, in Euskal Herria (Basque Country). We are a project based on the principles of ‘autogestion’ (self-management or autonomy), consensus based decision making, feminism, anti-capitalism, and Basque cultural reinvigoration.

We are the biggest occupied space on the Iberian Peninsula, with over 25 acres of land and 150 inhabitants. Among us are children, elderly residents, blue-collar workers, the unemployed, students, teachers, and a variety of local wildlife. Our project includes a 5-acre organic farm, a bakery, a bar, a social center, an old church turned music venue, a library, a theater, a free shop, a recording studio, a publishing house, and a school with language classes. Continue reading “Police Attack Occupied Utopia: Errekaleor Under Siege: Solidarity Appeal”

Kan Bici rural squat center still Survives… just

4-anos-kan-bici-2016

 REPORT FROM KAN BICI (GALLINERS)

Precarity: Lack of resources and sufficient financial means, poverty and misery
Precarious: lacking resources and sufficient financial means:

A civilian judgment which demands an “eviction due to precarity” is nothing less than the

frontal attack of the bourgeoisie against the poor, by the powerful against people who lack
sufficient economic resources to pay a rent and also lack properties. (note: the landlord of Kan Bici has at least 40!

)squatDwoild

The judicial apparatus, the repressive forces and the press are the tools of the rich
to perpetuate their power everywhere. Almost all the properties are in their hands,
they own banks, commercial centers, businesses, shops, houses and land etc…occupy

…And we, who are squatting houses they have abandoned, we are in the target point of the
bourgeoisie, they denounce and if necessary they kick our asses out in the fuckin’ street-
through their mercenary riot cops. Continue reading “Kan Bici rural squat center still Survives… just”

The Radical Bank evicted: A brief history of self-management to be continued

radical bankLast June the 6th an anti-austerity demonstration took place in Brighton. The “Free Education Movement”, which came from Brighton universities, took the initiative in staging the protest, part of a series that are happening along the country after last election. Continue reading “The Radical Bank evicted: A brief history of self-management to be continued”

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