In 2018 we spent £1,744.54 more than we got in. That’s not really sustainable.
We spent £3,316.39, of which £2,369.30 was building costs and £527.54 for phone/internet.
We got in £1,571.85, of which £957 was standing orders and £588.41 from handbook sales or donations.
We spent £165 more than we got in for the NELSN phone.
We have since heard of money coming in from a New Year party, and an event last year, but we could do with more of that kind of thing.
Thanks to the individuals and housing co-op that give us something every month (and thanks for all the one-off donations too). Anyone else?
Practical Squatting Nights: a huge change
When ‘Practical Squatting Nights’ first began, many years ago, they felt like an incredibly useful project, for people who were new to squatting and/or London, who had practical questions or just wanted to find other people to squat with. Since the introduction of S144, the number of people looking to squatting as a solution to their homelessness has definitely declined – with more choosing alternative options: rough sleeping, sofa-surfing, etc.
The numbers coming along to regular Practical Squatting Nights ( on Tuesdays, twice a month at 56a and twice a month at DeCentre) has dwindled steadily over the past few years. WE think it’s time for a shake up.
What’s going to happen now?
Anyone looking to squat/ form a crew should get in touch with ASS, and leave their contact details (so we can text/phone, or failing that, email them) and basic info about what they’re looking for, when they want to move, etc.
Once we’ve gathered at least 5 or 6 names, we’ll set up a time for everyone to meet each other, and discuss/ look at potential buildings.
We’re looking for a few more people with squatting experience, who’d be willing to put a bit of time and energy into sharing their skills with these new people, and supporting them as they squat a new place.
We’re also looking for empties!
If you see any ‘non-residential’ buildings that you think might be suitable for first-time squatters – in any area of London (people who haven’t squatted before often aren’t geographically fussy!) please report them to the ASS office.
We are still happy to come out and run ‘practical squatting workshops’, ‘squatting legal workshops’ etc on request – whether that’s for existing squat crews or other groups of people – again, please contact ASS if you’d like to arrange something like this.
The Dogs Trust, who help many homeless people each year with assisted healthcare for their pets, have sent us a little christmas package!
There are toys and treats for dogs for us to distribute.
Bring in the address of a useful empty and your dog and they’ll get a present.
We are BEK collective that started the BEK social centre which opened this spring in Zagreb, Croatia. Our squat/social center is completely DIY, based on non-hierarchical structure and our acts are inspired with the idea of anarchism.
All our programs are free (based on donations) and our goal is to include all the people from the community that want to participate so we could truly make our squat a social center, open for everyone to come and be a part of it!
The building we are in was built in 1950 and until recently it was an educational center for blind and visually impaired children. In the March of 2015 long needed renovation works were halted and it was permanently closed as an educational institution. The government did not provide adequate solutions for a new building that could satisfy the children’s needs nor to stop the further decay of the closed building.
Now we have a chance to make an open space for people and animals, but the building requires a lot of work, materials and time. To collect the money necessary, we have started a crowdfunding campaign, so what we need from you is your support.
If you think this idea and project is worthy of your help, we would be very thankful if you could promote our campaign in any way, like sharing, donating, posting about us and talking to your friends, families, colleagues, pets, plants etc.
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.