A few days ago the former Camelot Europe HQ, in Westland Park London N1 was squatted in protest against guardian companies’ anti-social profiteering from empty properties and homelessness.
For those who don’t know, Camelot are the original “guardian” company, invented to counter the squatting movement in Holland by moving in people who act as security by living there. Guardians pay rent but have less protection than ordinary tenants, at least according to the wording of their contracts. Other guardian companies also exist, such as our least-favourite Dot Dot Dot ……
A couple of articles have appeared in the Guardian but with certain problems. Both of them seem to agree with Camelot that what the people acting as security guards by living in their properties are is merely licencees, when most legal advice shows that they clearly have tenancies. When challenged on this point most guardian companies back down and come to a deal, rather than allow the issue to go to court.
On Monday 26th Camelot security guards tried to besiege the building, agreeing to let people out but nobody and nothing in. Over a period of days the situation ebbed and flowed, with police from the station a couple of minutes away getting called out regularly to referee a stand-off between security and supporters of the occupiers. At one point the besiegers themselves got besieged. They were allowed to leave but not get back in.
A couple of times the police imposed exclusion orders but only for a while. The last straw for the cops was when security tried forcing entry during the night and they were finally told to leave and that had to get a possession order to get the occupiers out.
Advice from ASS is that if you squat somewhere with an entranceway between the door and the public highway you need to take control of this space.