|Bristol: Eviction resistance|
The inhabitants of 87 Ashley Road woke up this morning to a garden full of cops and bailliffs here to evict them from the house that is a home to around 15 people, and make them homeless.
Rooftop occupation happening right now!
As I arrived on the scene(around 10.30 am), Ashley Rd was cordoned off both sides of the house, and there was also police presence behind the house. The bailiffs were already in the building at this point, and all inhabitants had left, apart from 2 that managed to get onto the roof. They even called a helicopter in to 'check that there were 2 people on the roof' (I thought that's what eyes were for!) As I was leaving to come and write this (12.30pm), 3 more heads popped up over the roof! Hopefully, by the time i'm back, that roof will see a number more occupying it. A bailiff apparently told one squatter, that there are plans to turn the building into offices - so not social housing for those in need at all!!
If you would like to come and support, or just know more about what is going on, please come along to 87 Ashley Rd. We won't leave quietly while they're making people homeless and turning our community into a business park!!
At 10.am this morning (12/11/08) police and bailiffs smashed their way into 87 Ashley Road evicting some of the occupants. Several people are on the roof, while contractors and bailiffs rip up the inside to make the house uninhabitable.
We are resisting this eviction becauseâ€¦
1.We need somewhere to live. 2.Taking your housing needs into your own hands is a positive thing, especially when social housing has such long waiting lists. 3.This building has been left empty for at least 4 years, during this time both Places for People (P4P) and Bristol Churches (previous owners) have made no attempt to renovate or convert it into social housing. Thatâ€™s 8 potential flats that have been left to rot. And for the past 6 months no.87 has housed more than 30 people. 4.P4P have no planning permission to use or renovate this building. This morning a P4P representative said that the only active planning application they have is for April 2009, where 87 will contain a â€˜site officeâ€™ for the â€˜developmentâ€™ of 16 other â€˜shared ownershipâ€™ properties in the St. Pauls Area. 5.St. Pauls UnLtd have opposed P4Pâ€™s plans because they did not provide enough social housing or affordable housing. 6.Existing P4P tenants complain about the standard of service of maintenance in their existing properties. 7.Everyone has a right to a home: Squatting is legal, necessary, and provides an alternative to the stranglehold of debt that underpins the current financial crisis. 8.Tying people into 30+years of mortgage debt is an illusion of housing security, in the light recent repossessions. 9.We are part of this community and against all privatizations, repossessions and evictions.
P4P are more concerned with money than housing those in need they are the biggest UK housing association and have the highest paid chief executives in the housing sector (Director salary: Â£258k in 2007). Housing associations were set up to fill the gap left by Thatcherâ€™s destruction of social housing provision. They cannot legally make profits, but make up for this with fat bonus checks for the fat cats. Thatâ€™s taxpayerâ€™s money going to fund extravagant lifestyles
â€˜Direct action is better than any waiting listâ€™ Squatters handbook. (Or mortgage!)
23.36 - 5 people still on roof
Not much else to say, except they seem to be in good spirits, have plenty of people giving them support on the ground . We now have our own mobile incident support unit on the scene. No police at the moment, but security with a couple of vicious looking dogs inside the house.
Be good if people could be their as early as they can tomorrow morning.
back 2 mainpage