On the 8th May the Evening Standard carried an article titled “Squatters law has wiped out almost all illegal home invasions in London” pointing out that less people were arrested for squatting in residential properties last year than when S144 first came in (what a surprise!).
On the 11th May some Tory MP called Philip Davies wrote to the Secretary of State for Justice [sic] to ask “what assessment he has made of changes in the prevalence of squatting in commercial premises following the introduction of the criminal provisions contained in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012” (to which the answer was that no data is collected).
Neither of these is unusual, but as the last attack (leading to S144) started with attacks from the “Standard” and some Tory MP, we should be prepared for an upsurge in attacks and for calls for full criminalisation.
But this time round, thanks to the Sofia House squat, other occupations, the Grenfell Tower disaster and other events, squatting, and generally requisitioning empty properties should be more easy to defend/push for. And we seem to have a leader of the opposition who would hopefully be less pliant.
*** unfortunately lost in court today
120 or so people about to be back on the streets
some will squat but other options needed for many
as well as sleeping bags, warm clothing etc some people need tools for opening and repairing buildings, and lists of local empties ….. get in touch
With people freezing to death on the streets, an emergency shelter has been opened by homeless activists in Central London – 204 Great Portland street, entrance from 56 Bolsover road (Sophia house).
Help needed to run the place.
ASS will be supporting the Women’s Strike on March 8th
We will not be open and some of us will be helping with childcare and food
Good news: we’ve escaped the clutches of BT and so significantly reduced our second largest item of expenditure.
Not so good news: we’ve taken on responsibility for paying for the NELSN* phone, but will hopefully get contributions to cover that.
Bad news: we still managed to spend just over twice as much as we got in, excluding the cost of reprinting the Little Squatters Handbook (which we will get back over time).
Good news: we have resources, we’re not going bust any time soon.
For 2018 we can estimate the following:
“rent” ie contribution towards building’s rates and bills, £2,236
phone / internet, £654
other, about £450
Standing Orders, £924
Gap to be filled by sales on Squatters Handbook and Little Squatters Handbook, benefits and donations, £2,416
Standing orders ranging from £2 to £20 per month are received from individual housing activists, ASS collective members who’ve moved on to other things, a housing co-op that remembers its roots and a radical book distributer. It’s always nice to get new donors, but it’s also always possible existing donors might give up on us.
Happy to give more detail / answer any questions
* No Evictions London Squatters Network
Newly reprinted in 2017, the Little Squatters Handbook was first created in 2004. Copies have found their way into many a bookshelf in many a squat, and even in rented houses!
‘Tis a tale of desperation and despair, but also a thrilling story of friendship and triumph in the face of adversity.
It can be yours for £4, or £5.50 including postage, and can be picked up from A.S.S, Freedom Bookshop, and all ‘good’ bookstores.
Perfect of course for filling those stockings come December 25th. Get in quick
On Saturday 28th October we will be at the bookfair at
Park View School,
West Green Road,
We will have a stall selling the Squatters Handbook and the Little Squatters Handbook and giving out free leaflets and advice.
We will be having a meeting at 3pm to talk about Occupations these days, and what you can and can’t get away with, with other groups and individuals who know stuff.
There’s other interesting meetings about housing and loads of stalls, not all selling books. www.anarchistbookfair.org.uk
On Friday night some of us will be joining the tour of some places haunted by undercover police who infiltrated our movements and pretended to be friends and lovers and starting a project to put up memorial plaques. Meet us at the COCK TAVERN, Phoenix Rd, Euston, NW1 1HB for a drink and some reminiscing at 5.30pm.
We’ll be moving off at 6pm sharp and aim to reach Housmans bookshop for a plaque unveiling and launch event at 7.30pm. Please come dressed as ghost (bed-sheet style) if you can. Not just because Haloween is coming, but because these officers came into our lives making themselvesout to be someone they weren’t in order to gain our trust, then disappeared form our lives without a word – like ghosts…
Also on the 28th, United Friends and Families Campaign hold their annual march and rally commemorating deaths in custody. Starts at 12 noon at Trafalgar Square.
back by unpopular demand – Come see a slice of Central London squatting history;
• See the square where squatters and tenants half succeeded in fighting off the encroachment of office blocks,
• See the hotel which ex-soldiers and others occupied in 1946,
• See one of the Really Free School buildings from the recent struggles against cuts and the privatization of education and knowledge,
• See places that were homes to hundreds, alternative bookshops, women’s centres, the starting places for wholefood empires ……
meet Tolmers Square NW1 6pm for 6.30
The building where ASS, and many other cool groups, is based needs serious work to keep it standing. We’re in the attic so particularly want the roof working right, as well as everything between us and the ground.
Here’s the building’s exciting crowdfunder, with cool prizes: https://www.gofundme.com/thebigfreedomrebuild
Updated to inspire a new generation after LASPO 2012 (the criminalisation of squatting in residential property) and other changes. Packed with more information, glossary and index for easier use.
A bargain at £2 (arrangements for bulk purchase / squat type groups).
See Squatters Handbook page of this website for full info.
Squatting is sometimes still legal!
Official launch: Thursday 1st December @ Freedom Bookshop from 7pm. More info nearer the time.