100 TSG illegally evict social centre

Tagged as: culture dale_farm free_spaces peckham_squat repression social_centres social_struggles solidarity squats
Neighbourhoods: peckham

One of London's largest and most active social centres was evicted Friday morning by around 100 TSG units. According to reports, occupants were rudely awakened by an unruly mob of riot police breaking the inner door to their sleeping area. As no legal process had been initiated, an old warrant for the building was used as a pretext for the eviction. Occupants were in shock with the latest move by the authorities which allegedly defies nearly all the basic rights for every person to justice, as well as contravening Section 6 of the Criminal Law Act 1977.

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Peckham Social Centre resisted to the end

In addition most of them were denied access to their possessions as the door was locked shut by bailiffs and they were left outside in the cold to contemplate the immediate dashing of their dreams.

The social centre, which held a free vegan dinner and bicycle workshop every week was building up to a more productive spring when they were attacked.

One squatter, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "We are shocked how far the authorities go to undermine our liberty. This sort of unprovoked violence is nothing short of fascism."

Some experts suggest authorities rash assault on civil rights in the last year is a bid to gentrify parts of London ahead of the Olympics.

Reports suggest that over 15,000 police officers will be stationed in the capital during the 25bn pound event, with critics saying all this money will be swallowed by multinationals just as the poor are being cut of even their most basic needs.

Authorities will have power to enter and evict any building they want during this period, powers normally handed out only in wartime.

Links:

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Additions

really?

largest and most active ?????

hardly.
open once a week at most
and never the most welcoming/easy place to visit

a great space

I disagree with the above commenter said and second the writer of the original post. It was a good space and a great crew. Not all social centres have to be open 24-hr venues with a daily programme of activities (lets face it, how many social centres are designed to be genuine community spaces - the constant threat of eviction generally gets in the way any real investment in a space itself).

Bastards!

You'd started to actually build relationships with the community - making you an actual threat to the cops. If you'd been a standard anti-social centre they would have let you be.

Really sorry you had to loose your home and work - it's fucking wrong. You started something really good with that place, and you should be proud of the work you've done, and proud that you were enough of a threat that they came for you with 100 cops.

robots

100 TSG !?

Was someone trying to justify a budget, or was something else on the cards.

This kind of policy enforcement would be moronic, if it wasn't evil.

Pentecostal Church

The London Pentecostal Church owns the premises, two of their representatives were there yesterday during the eviction.

This is what their website looks like today:

http://img860.imageshack.us/img860/3749/pentecostal.jpg

Access to the site is to be handled with care. ;)

people need to stop using the term "social centre"...

...whenever they want help and are being evicted.

- What is a social centre?

- What is a space that is sometimes (>10% of the time) open to people who do not live there to do things like show films, have meetings, benefit gigs, people's kitchens...

Yes, I understand that it is very difficult, in this political reality, to maintain an open and free (as in freedom and as in free as possible from the constraints of capitalism) space. But that doesn't mean that anything that may in some tiny way allude to the idea of a social centre should then start bandying about the term.

Peckham Road wasn't even referred to the people who lived there and the people who were friends of the space as a 'social centre' - only "activistas" and the like referred to it as such because, quite frankly, with not social centres there is no epicentre and thus not gravity bringing various radical forces into play with each other.

To kid ourselves into thinking that the peckham road space was something akin to what the ratstar was in the early days is a total sham and we'd be lieing to ourselves otherwise.

Having said that - it is total shite that folks got kicked out of their homes for political reasons. Total utter shite.

People need to stop using comments to snip

Someone is clearly out just to snip at anything going on, have a few digs, then say they understand, but generally sow sees of distrust. The comments are supposed to be about new information not having a go. I suggest the mods turn this thread off as it is being highjacked

house thieves

No, not all squatters, just people who opened 97 Peckham.

At the time some of the initial peckham crew were guests at Ratstar where, being under direct threat of eviction, people were talking about new buildings. What became known as the 'peckham social centre' was one of those buildings, and was effectively swiped by those who were being done a favour. And (after having their building nicked) how many former ratstar crew found shelter or did stuff in peckham?

So yeah, tsg eviction would be karma.

Re Community Worker

The original poster is I imagine referring to the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act (2006) which contains powers relating to the display or production of advertising or notices. This was reported in the media as possibly allowing police or enforcement officers to enter premises / homes to confiscate / destroy publicity materials.

Here's what Liberty says about it:

"This legislation creates institutions and powers that are specific to the 2012 Games. Among other things it provides for Regulations to curb advertising near Olympic venues and protect the commercial brand of the London Olympics. The Act is broadly framed and allows for the banning of "advertising of a non-commerical nature, and […] announcements of notices of any kind". Section 22 of the Act allows a "constable or enforcement officer" to "enter land or premises" where they believe such an advert is being shown or produced and destroy the materials. Powers of entry should be for fighting crime, not policing poster displays.

While the type of material that could be banned under the Regulations is potentially very wide, Regulation 7 provides that advertising activity which is intended to “demonstrate support for or opposition to the views or actions of persons or bodies of persons, or to publicise a belief, cause or campaign or mark or commemorate an event” is excepted from the banning regime. If the right of peaceful dissent is to be protected at the London Games, this exception must be widely construed by police and “enforcement officers”."

So I tend to agree that the original post is not accurate re powers of eviction. That said I fully expect more evictions (legal or illegal) in the run up to the games and especially to tackle any squat, occupation or camp set up which directly refers to the games.

Some further reading refs:

http://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/campaigns/olympics/freedom-games-.php

London 2012 will see the UK's biggest mobilisation of military and security forces since the second world war and the effects will linger long after the athletes have left:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/mar/12/london-olympics-security-lockdown-london?


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