On monday morning around 10:30 AM a longstanding Sydney squat was raided and the squatters were forced to leave. The building - a huge heritage-listed old factory warehouse - was owned by the Shell corporation and been empty for nearly four years before the squatters moved in last February.

Shell had workers force their way in through the back of the building, opening the Biscuit up for shell representatives, solicitors, private security guards and state police to seize control. Only a handful of squatters were present at the time and those who were there agreed to leave by 3pm the following afternoon rather than face criminal tresspass charges.

The squatters at the biscuit were able to organize for the media to come to the squat at 2pm tuesday afternnon, where a rally was held to defame Shell and publicize the need for affordable housing for low-income people in pre-Olympic Sydney. The squatters moved some of their mattresses , a table and and a gas cooker out on the street and held a bit of a party to draw attention to their eviction.

When Shell found out about the intended action, they ordered their hired thugs to lockout the squatters at 2pm. Drawing on the classic 'Squatters are dirty scumbags' stereotype, Shell responded to the squatters actions by issuing their own press release which incorrectly stated that the building was unsanitory and unfit for human habitation.

The building is to be knocked down and replaced by a service station, 7-11 and McDonalds. The squatters were seeking to have the Biscuit used as a housing co-op for low-income people. With the Olympics on this August/September, old buildings in Sydney are being torn down and replaced with exclusive apatment blocks at at incredible rate.

Since they have been there, the Sydney squatters have formed their own squatters group (SHAC - Sydney Housing Action Collective), redrafted and reprinted the Sydney Squatters Handbook, and set up their own web page []. The biscuit squatters have also been active in helping crack and establish other squats in the Sydney area.

And whilst the Biscuit has been evicted, the residents have already opened up another squat near the Sydney CBD.


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