Monday, 30 April 2012

OH we do like to squat beside the seaside!

Squatters Convergence Brighton 2012
Thurs 17th – Sun 20th May

Following the success of  previous squatting convergences across Europe
(Dijon ’07, Leeds, Berlin ’08 & Bristol ’09) the Squatters Network of
Brighton (S.N.O.B) invites YOU for a weekend by the sea for the next
squatter convergence!
With a bit of luck there should be some workshops (nominate yourself to
run one!) and plenty of opportunities to get  rowdy with your fellow

Celebrate squatting, meet squatters from all over the UK and other
countries, spread the word about what’s going on in your city, and
mobilise for action against the squatting ban right on Mike Weatherly’s
door step.

In true squatter style this event will be focused on D.I.Y. and autonomous
ethos so bring ideas, friends and things to share.

For more information or if you want to get involved in organising, hosting
workshops or other events at the convergence please contact or phone 07583010898

Expect crowded floors and gak galore!

hello out there

squatters networks in the UK are gonna be under increasing pressure
                                                                                                and in need of
                                                                                                           increased organisation and cross-country communication - as we're pushed into
                                   an ever tighter corner

squash would like to support the 2012 Squatters Convergence happening in Brighton (17-20 May) by offering squatters from other cities some dough towards coach//train tickets to the convergence - if the cost of travel or the time for hitching would prevent you from getting there

we have limited funds but could cover early booked travel for a couple of people from different cities//squatter networks across the country - unfortunatley we can't pay for continental squatters trips - soz

if you would like squash to book tickets for reps from your ends please email - - and we'll see what we can do - can't promise - but we know how important it is for this convergence to be well attended if we're gonna get through the next chapter altegether whatever the weather

by having squatters from all corners converging to plot and scheme hopefully we can protect ourselves and resist extinction

when emailing - please detail what squat stuff you're up to wherever you're at and how you might spread the word on whatever comes out of the conference.

see you thurrr . . .

(_pass it on_)



Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Second Squatters March in Bristol

Following on from the previous demonstration on Friday 30th March and in response to the callout for another Day of Action; people gathered once again outside Metropolis, Stokes Croft on Saturday 14th April to protest against the House of Lords recent decent to criminalise squatting in residential properties. From the beginning there was a much higher police presence that last time with several officers patrolling Stokes Croft and keeping guard over Metropolis while two riot vans sat quietly round the corner outside Montpelier Station.

While people waited for more numbers to arrive two banners where hung on the old Metropolis noticeboard. One read: "CONTEMPT OF COURT: Solidarity With All Those Who House Themselves By All Means!" and another which read: "United People Of Earth: KEEP FREE HOUSING". Shortly afterwards a tricycle soundsystem turned up and the protest decided to move on (despite all the Police fears that the meeting point outside Metropolis was a clever ruse to break-in under the cover of daylight).

The protest moved down Stokes Croft where it took the road and made it's way towards town, stopping briefly outside Classic's Free Shop and The Emporium so people could show their support for the two buildings which have been squatted for several years and resisted eviction on multiple occassions. When they reached the St. James Barton roundabout people continued to block the road on their way towards Broadmead.

Chants of "Who's Street? Our Street!", "Build A Bonfire...", "All Bailiffs are Bastards" and "Stop Shopping, Start Squatting" could be heard over the soundsystem.

Once in Broadmead people quickly made their way through The Galleries where the soundsystem could be properly appreciated and heard all throughout the building. Cabot Circus was next on the list, where impromptu banner drops appeared either side of the balconies surrounding the central plaza (much to the dismay of the security).

On their way back through Broadmead another banner drop happened over the entrance to a church in the centre. Police made moves to arrest those who'd done the banner drop but where outsmarted when they simply climbed down the opposite side to where the officers where standing!

The protest then made it's way to Bristol Magistrate's Court where another impromptu banner drop left the Police and courts looking rather silly as the "CONTEMPT OF COURT" banner hung from the gates of the court, complete with two big middle fingers. After another brief party outside the courts the demonstration moved back towards Stokes Croft.

At Stokes Croft the demonstration finished outside Tesco where protestors stopped to wish them a Happy Birthday, which Tesco responded to by shutting down early and closing the shutters! The Police soon moved in and tried to move people out of the road and onto the pavement. A Section 14 announcement was made which permitted any form of protest after 4:00PM.

Police eventually arrested 11 people from breach of Section 14 of the Public Order act. As far as we're aware all but two accepted a caution and the rest are on police bail awaiting further action.

Click here for a recent article on the current situation on the new squatting law.

Monday, 16 April 2012

6 arrests after Bristol squat march

From Bristol Indymedia (modified for accuracy):

6 people arrested after squat march ended at tesco on stokes croft (to wish them happy birthday). around 50-60 protesters went around town with a sound system chanting anti-bayliff and pro-squat chants visiting broadmead, the galleries, cabot circus (where security failed to stop a banner drop) and also the magistrates court where a banner was hung from the top of the gates. after arriving at tesco around half 3 police moved people off the road (as tescos shut up shop) before announcing a section 14 would be in place by 4pm. didn't see the arrests but 6 people nicked as cops wouldn't say what for or where they were going. could someone post up info when they have it please.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Bristol: 18 arrests as Mansion is evicted & drones conference resisted

Report and statement from members of Bristol Defendant Solidarity, ABC & Afed:

Squatters face up to riot police after the illegal morning eviction on Sunday 1st April

After losing to a possession order in court from the Bank of Scotland, squatters held another party at Clifton Wood House that ended with 11 arrests. At about 6am, police gained entry to the £3 million mansion under the Criminal Justice Act due to noise complaints, where they were met by a crowd of 35 angry ravers. The party goers then successfully resisted attempts to shut down the party by charging the cops to remove them from the building. Police responded by calling backup involving 50 officers, who closed off Clifton Wood Road, and proceeded to illegally evict the squatters from their home and seize sound equipment.

This led to a series of arrests from public order to assault pc as individuals attempted to resist the police led eviction. The video shows someone bleading from the nose during arrest and being threatened with a taser, followed by another person being dragged off in a neck lock by an officer defending himself armed with CS spray. Currently five people ranging from 17-19 years old have now been charged; two with assault pc (one who also has resisting arrest) and another two with section 5 offenses.

The next day in the centre a noise demo outside the 27th International Bristol Drone Conference consequently led to more arrests. Starting at around 9am on Telephone Avenue, by about midday around 80 people were making a loud racket with a sound system, pots and pans and a live band. Members of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Bristol Against Arms Trade, Smash EDO and Bristol Amnesty took part in the action in solidarity with those facing drone attacks abroad in state warfare. Drone attacks have led to thousands of civilian casualties in conflict areas, and are often referred to as “remote killing machines”.

Monday 2nd April: People stood on windows frames banging windows looking in as warmongers attempted to eat lunch in peace.

A Palestinian flag was promptly hung at Armada House where the conference was taking place as people stood on windows frames banging windows to cause maximum disruption, while several arms dealers relied on the cops to leave due to the attention given by activists who pursued the warmongers around town. In response police arrived at 2pm with 5 support vans, initially seizing the sound system, then blocking off Marsh Rd before advancing from Baldwin Street towards Telephone Avenue after also blocking the road. They began attacking the demonstration, who strongly resisted being moved, leading to 7 people being arrested/detained on various different charges. These included public nuisance, public order, breah of the peace, obstruct pc and assault pc, as well as someone re-arrested in relation to the Clifton eviction.

Video | Pictures

Four out of the seven people arrested were eventually taken to to trinity road police station, after which activists held a solidarity demonstration outside the main entrance. The demo was lively with music and a fire place made from a washing machine drum to keep themselves warm. When police came out to demand that the fire be extinguished, protesters simply picked up the drum and moved it across to the roundabout much to the annoyance of the police who were having to carry a bucket of water. This happened again a few moments later when the fire was moved back to it’s original place and the police came out in larger numbers with an idle threat to call the fire service. By the end of this rather humorous game the police went inside to ‘research’ laws on contained public fires.

Eventually three out of four of the people arrested were released on bail with ridiculous conditions, for example a suspect was not allowed to congregate with 3 or more persons at a time. A bit weird, but it is the Avon and Somerset police we’re talking about here. The remaining person in custody was held overnight and was due in court the following morning. Additionally 3 people waited outside Southmead police station where others were taken, as nervously paranoid police covered up numbers plates on exiting the compound – concerned an anarchist database was being created!

As a result of the protest two activists are fighting the cases in court, while one person has been fined £150 for a section 5 offence (causing ‘alarm, harassment or distress’), someone accepting a caution, and another bound over for breach of the peace but charged with vandalizing a police cell.

It goes without saying Bristol Defendant Solidarity, Bristol Anarchist Black Cross and Bristol Anarchist Federation express full solidarity with all those arrested, charged and otherwise violently repressed by the police over these two days. While other groups may keep their distance, we will continue to support individuals through the courts and with their fines.

A benefit gig has already been organised to support the anti-drone and clifton defendants (full details to be announced very soon) while squatters and activists aim to legally oppose the eviction and police response to the noise demo, which were both caught on camera. Furthermore there is a march in solidarity with squatters facing evictions, charges & additionally threatened with homeless through the criminalisation of squatting.

Meet 1pm on Saturday 14th April @ Metropolis Stokes Croft to defend our squats!

Friday, 6 April 2012

Bristol march to defending squatting

Whatever they say, squatting will stay!

The House of Lords recently passed a bill effectively making it illegal to squat in residential buildings. The new law could come into place as early as May!
The time for petitions & lobbying is over!
Solidarity with those facing eviction and repression from the state!
It's time to act!

Fight the anti-squatting bill!
Assemble 1pm outside Metropolis, Stokes Croft
Saturday 14th April

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Bristol Responds to Anti-Squatting Bill

From Bristol Indymedia:

In response to the Government's moves to criminal squatting in residential properties people gathered in Bristol on Friday to protest against the passing of the Legal Aid Bill. Around 30 to 40 protesters meet outside Metropolis on Stokes Croft (another empty property, which if the Government has it's ways, would be left to rot in the interests of property speculators). Comrades from The Red & Black Umbrella in Cardiff even came over to Bristol to join the protest!

At 2:30PM people set off down the street, taking the road and displaying a banner which read: "Whatever They Say, Squatting Will Stay!"

We successfully blockaded the road for the entire protest, moving down Stokes Croft, past BRI, down Park Street, through Broadmead and after a quick scuffle with security in Cabot Circus ended up in Castle Park where we ended the day in the sun. The Police paid little to no attention to the procession though we were accompanied by two PSCOs the whole time (who's attempts to keep people from blocking the road, failed miserably).

Several people expressed their solidarity either through honking their horns or joining the demonstration. We know that this demonstration won't be enough to reverse the criminalisation of squatting that has already been put into motion. We need to build a strong movement to combat their attempts to make illegal our way of life. We need to create strong solidarity networks, responding to evictions and helping fellow squatters out with potential court cases and fines and possible imprisonment!

One thing that is important is that we do not allow the criminalisation of squatting to be the end of the squatting movement in Bristol (or the UK)! We need to take ques from our comrades in Europe and elsewhere around the world where squatting is already a criminal offence. We need to keep squatting, keeping resisting and keep building our movement despite what the law might say.

There will be another demonstration two weeks from now, on Saturday 14th April. Assemble outside Metropolis, Stokes Croft at 1PM! Bring banners, placards, megaphones, sound systems & anger! Spread the word!