Olympic Demolition Starts

With news that London is now odds on favourite to win the 2012 Olympic bid work has already started on the site.

The site near Homerton Road and Stratford High Road has seen builders arive Monday morning and starting to demolish buildings. When Su Crawford spoke to them and asked them what they were doing she was told, “It’s for the Olympics, this is going to be the site”

She is trying to organise a demonstration later today ( Monday 6th June ) and will be trying to stop or slow progress on the construction.

There are expected to be ongoing demonstrations and local resistance to the building, what some have seen as part of the ” new fascism”. Privatisation, local and national government corruption are filling the pockets of property developers in the guise of community regeneration ( see Liverpool’s Pathway for instance ). Londoners may have noticed their fares spiralling out of control as ordinary folk fund the business communities schemes.

For the past 20 years ‘urban regeneration’ has been an excuse for corporate chains to turn every high street into an identical area whilst getting public funding (regeneration grants ) and ousting small businessess and the poor.

In a very good article on the No 2 Olympics website Kevin Blowe exposes the main myths surrounding the Olympic bid including the notion that the Games will help the regeneration of east London.

Read his article on the No To Olympics 2012 website here.

RTF 3 – Party June 11th

Springing out of RTS London the Reclaim The Future party promises to be a cracker. It’s on Saturday 11th June in London at a DIY space and runs from 8 in the evening to 8 on Sunday morning.

There’s something for everyone with live techno sets from Geezer and Edit, punk from PAIN and the Inner Terrestrials, reggae from Nomadix Roots, agit folk from Riot Folk from the USA and much more including special guests TBA. The main stage features your comperes Viz and 2000DS/Crowzone Gary. There’s also vegan cafe, Indymedia cinema, comedy, samba, drum and bass, more live music, world beats, more techno, more punk, more folk, more chillout, serious visuals galore, magicians, gabba, Recclaim the Streets artwork plus and a nervous breakdown.

There are 3 live stages including the cabaret ( later doubling as chillout ), drum and bass room, techno rooms, Indymedia cinema,vegan cafe, info stalls and clean toilets and running water. OK this may not be the whole line-up but here goes :-

Edit ( live techno )
Geezer ( Live techno )
DJ Zebedee
Debs Elemental
Inner Terrestrials
Naked Ruby
Sondrine ( Mal faiteurs )
Rhythms of Resistance samba band
Pok ( mandolin tunes )
Riot Folk ( US folk collective with sets from Evan Greer, Ryan Harvey, Mark Gunnery, and Christa Daring )
Electricity Comes From other Planets
Jah Free
Nomadix Roots
Pink Pork Chops
Squall Jim
Geraldine ( Reclaim The Streets )
12 Volt Vandals ( low fi folk punk )
Ian Saville – Socialist Magician
Lower Depths ( kick-ass 3 piece )
Tofu Silverpants
Dead Cops Now Drum and Bass
Debs Elemental
Serum Sound system
Siren Sound system
DJ Seed
various VJs

plus more…..

On the day call 02076445155 or 07951868252.

Reviews and more info can be found on the Reclaim The Streets London website http://rts.gn.apc.org

‘Battle of the Beanfield’ Anniversary

It’s the 20th Anniversary of Operation Solstice – the state repression of travellers on their way to the Stonehenge Festival – the biggest of the many free festivals in the UK at that time. With the Criminal Justice Bill (sic) coming nearly 10 years later to effectively smash a revived festival scene including another generation are we now left with a poor consumer ‘substitute’….? Here’s a link to a couple of articles on Indymedia…

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2005/05/312088.html – Battle Of The Beanfield

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2005/05/312109.html – The Traveller Situation ( Tash )

Olympic evictions at Clays Lane

The University of East London is evicting students from its Park Village estate at Clays Lane, Stratford, East London. The estate is to be handed over to the London Development Agency and will be part of the site for the Olympic Village if London gets the 2012 Olympics. The students are being removed even though the decision on the Olympics won’t be made until 6th July and if London doesn’t get the Olympics the estate will be let out again through a housing agency. If London does get the Olympics then the LDA says it will demolish the estate within six months even though the rest of the Village site won’t be available for construction till 2007. Notice to quit for the students expires on 19th July.

The estate consists of two tower blocks and a large number of four or six person houses. It is in perfectly good condition! Have a look for yourselves.

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.


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.


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

Legal & practical advice for squatters and other homeless people