The Tories are after us…

19 03 2010

…well, not actually us per se, more the travelling folk.

So, I imagine that most people might have already heard about this in one way or another, but just in case anyone has missed it I thought I’d add it in here:

Some lovely Tory (Bob Neill to be exact, the shadow minister for Local Government and Planning) has decided that the current planning system is being taken advantage of by travellers and those pesky human rights lawyers when they’re trying to find people places to live.He’s planning to make a few changes. As Sam says on Indymedia, it is primarily an attack on travellers, but it doesn’t bode well for us.

Amongst the bumf  there is the somewhat worrying intention to “create a new criminal offence of intentional trespass”. Yep, that’s right boys and girls. That means no more waiting for the owner to notice you’re there, just have to wait for the nearest boy in blue to fancy a fight and then you’re out. Squatting will be criminalised. Uh-oh.

Now! Stop! Before everyone fucks off to Barcelona, lets remember a couple things.

Firstly, the Tories aren’t in power. Yet. We’ll see what happens with that I suppose, but if you want to really make sure that its not going to happen, then stop the election. Or just make sure that the Tories don’t get in. You’ll have to make Cameron look like a smarmy, smug, self-satisfied tosser…oh…erm…okay. A challenge? Maybe try making Brown look like he’s got a personality then.

Secondly, this seems to be an idea still, although one thats been around for a while. Something to get the votes of landowners, and landlords, and other rich people. Its gonna take them a while to get it all together anyway. Specially since they are talking about repealing the Human Rights Act so that they can stop human rights lawyers using it to side-step the planning system.  That’s gonna raise a few heckles. It is a very honest indication of their priorities though.

Thirdly…well…I kind of wish there was a thirdly. Otherwise its up to us. Its been tried before with the Criminal Justice Act back in the old days (1993/4) and it didn’t ever go through, although things did change then. Thats when resisting an IPO became a criminal offense. So who knows. The situation was very different back then too. About a third of squatters round that time were families, so general opinion of squatters was probably different back then. I’m not sure the feeling towards us young ‘uns, middle class students and foreigners is quite the same. I also know that now there is nothing like the squatting community that existed back then.

So I have a to do list:

  • Persuade all the voters I know that they will be directly responsible for my homelessness should they vote Tory. I will be calling in favours.
  • Get to know my neighbours. Squatted and rented. Near and far. I really think that now is when we need to be making friends and building relationships with people that we’re going to have to work with if this becomes a reality.
  • Show off. People need to know just how many people are going to be affected.
  • Find out what the traveling community thinks. They are the guys really under attack and its shockingly pointed at them. Disgustingly so. Finding out what they think and want, and showing our support to them is gonna be super important. You can see the Institute of Race Relations analysis of the proposal here.
  • Make sure everyone knows that anti-squat companies are a bunch of bastards. In Holland these companies such as Camelot, Ad Hoc etc have been given a lot of Parliamentary support as a solution to both empty homes and homelessness. They basically being written into the law. I don’t want  the Tories to copy that without any opposition, cause it sounds quite reasonable at first glance.

So, if anyone wants to play at any of the aforementioned games, then please do. I think that (as much as I hate to be a cliche) now we really might have to pull our fingers out and get started if we want to protect our way of life and stop more of our liberty going down the shitter.



4 11 2009

Wednesday, 4th – Saturday 21st November

A group has recently begun occupying a building in Hackney. Part of the building contains a hall / stage area and offers the potential for some amazing events. We are in communication with the owner and although they plan to demolish this part of the building soon they have given us confirmation that we can definitely use it up until Monday 23rd November!

So, this is a callout to all those who want to be involved in creating a temporary autonomous space to come and create, inspire, conspire and get organised! This week we will be cleaning up ready to start events from next week. We want to make the most of the space while we have it with workshops, discussions and general shinanigans. So if you always wanted to organise a day of circus training but never quite had enough space here’s your chance!

DIY Festival

**Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th November**: Workdays: Come and help fix up the place

**Saturday 7th**: creARTion day: give the walls a lick of paint and bring out your creative side with a day of art

**Thursday 12th**: Art Opening: explore the building and the new exhibition

**Friday 13th**: The Haunted Herstory: An evening of story-telling & performance relating to the building’s past.

**Saturday 14th**: PantoPractice: developing a pantomime to perform on the stage at next Fridays event. Anti-Militarist / NATO gathering: an evening of discussion

**Friday 20th**: Who Can Do What?: bringing you an open stage for all of your performance needs: fancy having a sing-song, playing the fiddle or reading a poem? Make the most of the stage or come along for the Pantomime!

**Saturday 21st**: Gardening: clearing has already begun so let’s start growing things

Other ideas
– prison society info night: food, films and discussion relating to prison(er), death in custody & detention centre campaigns
– Permaculture Discussion Group
– An Evening of Poetry / Spoken Word
– already mentioned but seriously considered, Circus Training
– roller disco / roller ping-pong

Come get involved to help ensure that all of this and more happens in the space.

For exact location please email Also drop us a line if you have any ideas for stuff to do, want to help out or just keep updated on the goings on.