All posts by ass

Consultation on bailiff powers

There is an official consultation on County Court and High Court bailiff enforcement, which could (possibly) result in the High Court ones having to give notice and play by the rules, or, on the other hand, in County Court bailiffs being able to act like cowboys.

ASS is working on a response, along with others and if you want to see our draft get in touch, and have a look at https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/enforcement-of-possession-orders/ We have until the 2nd May.

Let us know if you are planning to respond and share your draft with us please (so we can learn and/or advise)

ASS accounts 2018

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 help for new squatters in London – an update

Monthly Practical Squatting Nights: 

COME LEARN & SHARE ALL ABOUT SQUATTING

Once a month we gather new squatters and old in Decentre to share skills, stories, experience and knowledge and make plans to squat the world.

The ASS collects contacts of people interested in squatting and helps them connect with others.

If you’re interested in joining a crew, finding out more about squatting, helping out others or learning which end of the crowbar goes where, get in touch at advice@squatter.org.uk or drop-in to Decentre at 7pm on the 2nd Tuesday of each month.

We need people to help out on the nights, to promote them, and to get active, ideally people with experience who’d be willing to put a bit of time and energy into sharing their skills with new people and supporting them as they squat a new place.

Also, we need people to drink tea and talk about squatting.

How You Can Help:

Tell people about PSN and the ASS. If people don’t know, they can’t get involved.

Collect empties. Send them in to the ASS so we can pass them on to those who need them. All areas of London and beyond are welcome.

Come to the night and encourage new people.

Join up with others to take direct action to collectively house people.

Let us know if you need people to join your crew or help hold a squat.

For more info, come down and say hello!

We meet on the 2nd Tuesday of every month, apart from in May 2019. Below are the dates …

May 21st

June 11th

July 9th

August 13th

September 10th

Anyone looking to squat should get in touch with ASS, and leave their contact details (so we can text/phone/email them) and some 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 can also set up a time for everyone to meet each other and look at potential buildings.

We are happy to come out and run practical squatting workshops and squatting legal workshops on request, whether that’s for existing squat crews or other groups of people. Please contact ASS if you’d like to arrange something like this.

Xmas Presents from the Dogs Trust!

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.

Call for Solidarity from Zagreb Social Centre

Greetings,

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.

In solidarity,

BEK kolektiv

https://bekkolektiv.com/

https://coopfunding.net/en/campaigns/bek-autonomous-space-for-free-social-and-cultural-activities/

Should we be worrying about a further assault on squatting rights?

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.

Update: Solidarity space taken in central London for homeless shelter

*** 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.
see https://www.facebook.com/StreetsKitchenOfficial/
@streetskitchen
sofiasolidaritycentre@gmail.com

Finance report 2017

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:
Outgoings:
“rent” ie contribution towards building’s rates and bills, £2,236
phone / internet, £654
other, about £450
total, £3,340

Incomings:
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
the Treasurer

* No Evictions London Squatters Network

Little Squatters Handbook – reprinted just in time for Christmas!

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 ;)