Social homes used as power line buffers

Social housing in mixed-tenure developments is being deliberately built under overhead power cables in a bid to safeguard the profits from properties sold privately, according to a new study.

A team of researchers from Oxford Brookes University has found that developers are following the US practice of creating “corridors of public space” to block the view of unsightly overhead cables.

full report:- Inside Housing

Rampart Social Centre Birthday

Rampart 1st Birthday

Rampart Social Centre in London E1 is known for a variety of activities such as Internet Radio, video editing, band rehearsal, benefit events, and skillsharing projects. It is one of a few squatted political spaces that have sprung up around the country in the past few years. This weekend, May 21st, will see Rampart Street celebrate it’s first birthday.

A year is a long time in squatting in the UK with 2-5 months being typical.

Ramparts operate under the principles of ” non-hierarchical DIY culture” with a “strong emphasis on conscensus decision making” working on a purely non commercial basis.

So to celebrate in typical Ramparts style we can expect live music, film screenings documenting Social centre projects, vegan food, chillout and live music. Check the calendar and the Ramparts website for more details.

http://rampart.omxtra.net/modules/news/

Squatters in police station

Squatters find police station is good home without any charges
The Times UK January 17, 2005.

By Sean O’Neill and Nicola Woolcock

In its heyday, Arbour Square police station in Stepney held its share of notorious and hardened criminals including the Kray brothers and alleged IRA terrorists.

But the imposing red-brick building with attached courthouse has recently acquired an altogether different, some would say more anarchic, type of occupant –  squatters who have moved in and made themselves comfortably at home.

A skull and crossbones flag has replaced the Union Jack and flutters at half-mast over the disused building in Lodon’s East End while a Crimestoppers sticker remains in one of its windows. The police, who are powerless to evict squatters by force, are in the embarrassing position of having to take legal action to regain possession of what was their own building. The former home of law and justice had gone the way of many police stations, closing some years ago. It was recently sold at auction and contracts are due to be exchanged with the new owners who, it is thought, will convert it into luxury flats.

But the three-storey property has proved so popular with its current residents that they have put up a sign saying: “We are filled, there are no more spaces for people to live”. Police believe that the occupants are members of a network of “professional” squatters, who know their rights, have lawyers and mobile phones and organise music and art events. A legal notice taken from Section 6 of the Criminal Law Act has been posted on the front door. It advises that entry without the squatters’ permission is a criminal offence and that “we will prosecute” anyone attempting to enter by violence.

“If you want to get us out you will have to take out a summons for possession in the county court or in the High Court, or produce to us a written statement or certificate in terms of S.12A Criminal Law Act, 1977,” it adds.

A moss-covered Royal Coat of Arms is engraved above the building’s main door and a sign that gives the station’s opening hours remains in place, even though it shut in 1999. Most windows are covered with chipboard or corrugated metal sheets.

More than 20 people are living in the property, including a teaching assistant and a Polish couple.

They have hooked up lights and heaters to a mains electricity supply and are said to sleep in one part of the half-acre development while holding parties in the other.

A Metropolitan Police source said: “We will be seeking an injunction because obviously the new owners will want to have vacant possession.”

“It is all very embarrassing because they are probably using the old police showers and cooking in the police canteen.”

UK Anti-Gypsy Racism Reaches Danger Level


>UK Anti-Gypsy Racism Reaches Danger Level

The same rabid anti-Gypsy racism which gave rise to the Nazi genocide is now being deliberately whipped up ahead of the British general election, speakers at this year’s Roma Nation Day rally will warn the UK Government.

Romani Rose, of the Central Council of German Sinti, who lost 17 members of his family during the Holocaust, will be among those addressing the Commemoration of Roma Victims taking place (12 noon) at St James’s Church, 197 Piccadilly, London, on Saturday, 9 April.

Paying their respects to the 500,000 Roma who died at the hands of the Nazis will be members of the foreign diplomatic corps and representatives of the Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Jewish communities.

After the signing of a Book of Condolence, candles will be lit to those who died both in the Holocaust and as a result of present-day racism.

Among those to be remembered is Johnny Delaney, the l5-year-old Traveller beaten to death two years ago in Cheshire.

The church ceremony will be followed (approx 1.30pm from outside St James’s Church) by a march across central London against the ethnic-cleansing of 30,000 Gypsies from their own land and in protest over threatened evictions at Dale Farm, Essex; Smithy Fen, Cambridegshire, and elsewhere.

Supported by members of the Gypsy Council, TERF, the NTAG, UKAGW, ITM and other groups, the rally will be headed by the Romani Rad ensemble and a decorated horse-drawn vehicle.

Marchers intend to deliver a demand to Savile Row police station that the SUN newspaper be investigated for incitement to racial hatred over its recent article headed “Stamp on the Camps”.

Similar complaints against other newspapers, among them the Evening Standard, the Mail and Daily Express will also be lodged.

GYPSY FOR PARLIAMENT

At a public meeting following the march, Richard Sheridan is to announce his participation in the general election as a candidate for Billericay. He will be standing against the present Tory MP John Baron, well-known for his anti-Gypsy stance on the issue of the future of unauthorised caravan parks.

 

“As the first Traveller to stand for Parliament,” says Mr Sheridan, “I intend to make our voice heard not only at Crays Hill but around the whole country.”

His adoption by Dale Farm residents follows an intense voter registration scheme which ended on 11 March. Meanwhile, a plan for the creation of a housing association has been submitted to Basildon District Council as an alternative to the threatened l3 May eviction.

The proposed Dale Farm Housing Association, drawing on Housing Corporation and local authority funding, would aim to build several family-sized mobile-home parks for people presently occupying unauthorised plots at Crays Hill.

“The first step is to obtain status as a registered social landlord,” explained Patrick Egan, chair of the Traveller Community Project, which is meeting shortly to form the association.

At the same time, up to 15 fresh planning applications have been prepared for submission to Basildon council ahead of the May deadline. Also in the pipeline are eight human rights cases arising out of evictions by Hertsmere District Council and Chelmsford Borough Council. It is hoped that these cases will help deter Basildon council from resorting to similar methods – the employment of Constant & Co security men, riot police and bulldozers – to raze the homes of the many hundreds of residents at Dale Farm.

Facing Bulldozers In UK Ethnic-Cleansing

The Dale Farm “Freedom March” is a response to eviction proceedings brought by Chelmsford Borough Council.

Nora Egan, a young mother facing eviction from Dale Farm, has called the”Freedom March” against the planned destruction of the UK’s largest Traveller settlement at Cray’s Hill, Essex. Sylvia Dunn, the first Romany general-election candidate in British history, now giving her all in a bid to unseat anti-Gypsy Tory leader Michael Howard in Folkestone, plans to head the march along with Roma activists including those who have seen their homes destroyed.

The march will take place at 12 noon on Saturday, 14 May at Gloucester Park, Basildon the day after some 80 families are supposed to vacate their 50 crowded yards.

Travellers hope this last appeal will persuade council leader Tory Malcolm Buckley to call off what would be an inevitably violent attack on the settlement. Such an eviction was originally contemplated for l3 May, when temporary planning permission expires.

“Filmstars have promised to be here if they try to evict us,” said Mrs Sheridan. “But we hope no such protest will be necessary.”

 The local Basildon ECHO has quoted yard owners as saying “It will take the army to move us.” Earlier, a planning inspector warned of a civil riot should bulldozers be deployed to demolish homes.

Recently actor Corin Redgrave visited Dale Farm and later pledged that he and sister Vanessa Redgrave would return with thousands to create a human shield around Dale Farm. He promised, however, that it would be a totally peaceful and lawful event.

 Meanwhile, Mr Buckley has commissioned notorious private bailiff firm, Constant & Co., to draw up eviction plans. The council have set aside £1.5 million to cover the expected cost. In similar operations at nearby Chelmsford and at Ridge, Hertfordshire, riot police have been mustered in support of Constant bailiffs and numbers of people assaulted and injured.

 A chalet-home, three caravans including a mobile-home and several vehicles were destroyed after dawn raids. The value of private property and personal belongings burned and ploughed up in these two evictions alone has been estimated at more than £500,000.

 Evictions are being monitored, evidence has been gathered and human rights cases have been brought against the perpetrators ( bailiffs, councils, police ) and the Trans-European Roma Federation has denounced this style of operation as ethnic-cleansing.

 Some 600 Travellers and supporters marched through central London on a Roma Nation Day protest calling for an end to such evictions and swifter planning consent for caravan and mobile-home parks.

 Dale Farm has now become the focus of this campaign, being the latest of many to face eviction. At least 200 plots, or individual yards, have been bulldozed in the past 18 months – following the withholding of planning permission due to widespread racial prejudice against Gypsies in Britain.

This prejudice has been exacerbated in the run up to the UK general election by Tory leader Michael Howard. He staged a television event this month close to Dale Farm announcing that his party would push through the closing down of all such “illegal Gypsy encampments.”

In his enthusiasm to play the racist card against a vulnerable minority, Mr Howard ignore the fact that Day Farm is not “illegal”, neither is it an encampment. Planning consent for this virtual village, home to close on one thousand people, only awaits
further confirmation and extension.

 Some 15 fresh planning applications have been submitted and a public inquiry will commence on 10 May. It is expected to be still in process when the Dale Farm “freedom march” reaches Basildon Civic Centre four days later.

Directions: A127 towards Southend. Look out for caravans on left at Basildon and turn into Oak Lane. Take Southend train from Liverpool Street Station. More details soon.

on behalf of Dale Farm

Gypsy & Traveller Law – New Book

Gypsy and Traveller Law Chris Johnson and Marc Willers (eds) is is the first legal book to wholesale mlb jerseys bring ROAD: together the areas of law affecting the travelling TI? community.

It balances straightforward, practical advice with comprehensive coverage of the statutes, regulations, guidance, Student circulars and a rapidly developing body of case-law.

This is the key reference image work for lawyers and advisers working with Gypsies and Travellers and hidden an essential guide for local authorities on their duties to the travelling community and wholesale mlb jerseys the social and legal implications of failure Farm to fulfil these obligations. Gypsy and Traveller Law also aims to empower Gypsies and Travellers to secure their rights and challenge injustice.

It also features a myth-busting history of travellers that should be required reading for anybody contaminated by tabloid bigotry (as wholesale jerseys should Colin Ward’s ‘Cotters and Squatters’ ! ).

The book covers…

  • the history of Gypsies and Travellers
  • the role of local authorities, the police and other public bodies
  • the application GEMT of the Human Rights Act
  • the legal protection against wholesale nba jerseys discrimination provided by Race Relations legislation
  • the provision and management of official sites
  • evictions from unauthorised encampments
  • homelessness legislation as it affects Gypsies and Travellers
  • guidance on planning law and setting up a site
  • access to education and healthcare

The appendices contain a wealth of information including: guidance on judicial review procedure; preparing planning applications and appeals; extracts cheap nba jerseys from legislation; useful contacts and reference materials.

It’s available from Legal Action Group, 242 Pentonville Road, London, N1 9UN, Tel: 020 7833 2931, Fax: 020 7837 6094,  lag@lag.org.uk

Price £29 .

ISBN / ISSN : 1 903307 26 0. Legal Action Group Website

Charity warns of hidden squatters

“Half of people found squatting in a survey were former prisoners unable to find proper housing following release. The research found former care home residents or those with mental health problems were more likely to try and squat than seek support.” BBC News reports of agency research on squatting March 24 2004.

The research found former care home residents or those with mental health problems were more likely to try and squat than seek support.

Little is known about squatting as it is not ME? officially measured, say Student the researchers.

Researchers tried to establish levels of squatting in the survey for homelessness charity Crisis and the Countryside Agency.

They found squatters were more likely to be male, white and under 35. More than half were former prisoners while almost four in 10 had mental health problems. Just under half were using drugs and 35% had been in care. While some squats were actually relatively stable ‘households’ because the same people lived together for a long period, others groups such as drug users were chaotic with transient residents living in dangerous surroundings.

The research found that while squatting tended to happen later in an individual’s homelessness, it rarely led to secure accommodation.

Many of those interviewed had sought out a squat rather than take a place in a hostel.

Approaches to authorities 

Four-fifths of frontline agencies interviewed conceded they did not know how to target these people for support.

Just over a third of those who had approached a local authority had been recognised as homeless, with two in 10 considered a priority. In turn, says the charity, the extent of the problem remains unrecognised because the vast majority of squatters do not show up in statistics. Crisis estimates there are 380,000 “hidden homeless” in squats, bed and breakfasts, hostels or staying with friends in cheap mlb jerseys England alone.

Shaks Ghosh, head of the charity, said: “Living in a squat is neither appropriate for cheap nfl jerseys vulnerable homeless people, not is ver?ffentlichen it the answer to their homelessness and we cannot allow these people to Farm be ignored.”

She said wholesale mlb jerseys local authorities and имеющей government had to do more to German ensure their homelessness support reached hidden homeless.

“Hidden homeless people living in squats and other forms of unsuitable temporary accommodation must be acknowledged, given the vital support services they need and the chance to rebuild their lives.”

Student Occupation

London Students Occupation

The Institute For Save Autonomy is a new autonomous social project run by and for students wholesale jerseys and folk wholesale MLB jerseys around the Bloomsbury area of London.

It’s cheap MLB jerseys based at 76-78 Gower Street. The building has dontation run cafe selling Zapatista coffee (as fair trade as you’re gonna get), shows films , has talks and provides meeting space for groups interested in social change.

Wednsday Nights are film nights showing a mixture of political and informative HERE film. This week Rising Veel Tide are Companies staritng a gallery space exposing cortporate (oil) arts sponsorship as greenwash calcuated to counter any negative publicity una from human rights abuses and global warming.

Save Dale Farm

Eviction Threat From Council

The largest Traveller site in the country with over a thousand residents, Dale Farm in Crays Hill, near Basildon and Wickford, Essex, is under threat of eviction. Basildon council will make a decision by the 28th May, but have already paid bailiff company Constant and Co £20,000 to make a plan for eviction. This company makes a lot of money brutally evicting people from their homes.

The whole site is not facing immediate eviction but around 40 – 60 families are. The council is planning to spend a million GPRS and a half of ratepayers money to make these families homeless. cheap jerseys After Dale Farm there really is nowhere to go. Dale Farm has been a refuge in the last few years for families evicted from other sites. The impossible odds of actually receiving planning permission for Traveller sites (over 90% rate of refusal) means brutal and violent evictions across the country.

The size of Dale Farm was cheap nba jerseys an attempt to find safety in numbers, which is soon to Zeiten be stripped away. The right wing press has made headlines in the wholesale nba jerseys last few months claiming that the Gypsy – Traveller community is using Human Rights law for their own benefit. The European Convention on Human Rights does protect the rights of communities to live in a way that is culturally significant to them, and also stops people being moved away from vital services. Children will world! lose their education through eviction, the ill will lose their medical treatment, wholesale jerseys China the au elderly will lose their care.

What You Can Do 

Come to a Public Meeting at the Ramparts Centre, Rampart St, off Commercial Road, Whitechapel, London. ( nr Aldgate East ). Sunday 29th may. 1 PM.

 Join the campaign to support Dale Farm come to the meeting or visit

You could also  send a protest letter to Basildon council. or our ‘listening’ Birgit governmment.

Legal & practical advice for squatters and other homeless people

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