Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Mayday, mayday, mayday! This wednesday celebrate international workers day in style with the Stop G8 network.

Mayday, mayday, mayday! This wednesday celebrate international workers day in style with the Stop G8 network. Meet at clerkenwell green at 11 am and look for red and black flags. Have an open ear for Space Hijacker after party in central london at 6pm. See you on the streets!

Beltane gathering tonight at diggers camp Runnymede Eco village directions www.diggers2012.wordpress.com

Beltane gathering tonight at diggers camp Runnymede Eco village directions www.diggers2012.wordpress.com
Also rainbow gathering at Runnymede now till 26th may.
May the beginning of summer bring you happiness love phoenix

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Brazilian embassy action for the Amazon funny video with police and rage against the machine

Action for the Amazon occupy outside the brazilian embassy to protest the Belo Monte Dam flooding hundreds of thousands of acres of rainforest and displacing up to 40,000 tribal people.
brazil is also planning a further 60 dams, the cumulative effect will destroy untold area of rainforest and tribal people's land and culture ,literally swept away by the waters.
More info FB group Action for the Amazon and
Or watch Jams Cameron of Avatar fame youtube a message from pandora
Check out this video on YouTube:


Keep networking

Beltane rainbow gathering at Runnymede Eco village 25th April to 25th may

Consensus reached for Beltane Rainbow Gathering from Full Moon 25th April to Full Moon 25th May at Runnymede Eco Village. Near windsor.Seed Camp has begun. For location www.diggers2012.wordpress.com
Also www.rainbowgathering.org.uk
And www.diggers2012.wordpress.com for location network it

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Reknaw party tonight sat 27th April

REKNAW all nighter - sat 27th april. Top class line up- COITUS + LEFT FOR DEAD + DEFCON ZERO + KADT. Pukka n london venue. 10.30 start. CALL 07852707267 for location on the day. U know the score! Pass it around..

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Brighton: Statement At Adjournment of Squat Trial housingwar A packed gallery sees two squatters freed and the case of the third adjourned.

Brighton: Statement At Adjournment of Squat Trial
housingwar | 24.04.2013 16:24 | Free Spaces | Policing | Social Struggles

A packed gallery sees two squatters freed and the case of the third adjourned..

Trial background - http://indymedia.org.uk/en/2013/04/508694.html

Law background - http://indymedia.org.uk/en/2013/04/508759.html

Today the squatting trial in Brighton was adjourned until the 24th May as it ran out of time due to extreme faffing.

Two squatters had already had the case against them thrown out of court when the magistrates realised the prosecution hadn’t actually presented any evidence that they lived in the building. And the case against the third squatter looks pretty flimsy.

One of the freed defendants, said:

"It’s proved to be ridiculous – it’s not even that we were found ‘not guilty’, but that there was absolutely no case to answer. The advice to squatters from this is don’t plead guilty. Presence in a building is not enough, they have to prove with documentary evidence that you actually live there."

The two acquitted defendants released the following statement:

"So far this case shows how ridiculous the new anti-squatting law is. It was badly researched and rushed through parliament based on a hysterical and inaccurate media stereotype. Even the government’s own consultation found that only a few rich landlords saw a need for this law.

Squatting gives people, who don’t have the huge amount of money required to buy their own house, a way of taking control of their living situations without having to go cap in hand to charities, the government or their employer.

In this case we have seen how a security company can use the police and public money as their own private bailiffs. This new law therefore enables the police to arrest and harass people who were simply IN an empty building.

Its better to squat the lot than let homes rot!"

To keep up to date with the trial follow @housingwar on twitter.

e-mail: housingwar@squat.net
Homepage: http://rooftopresistance.squat.net

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Wednesday, 24 April 2013

A message from Pandora about the Belo Monte dam

Action for the Amazon fri 26th April network it

Action for the Amazon this friday 26th april for indigenous tribes being displaced in the amazon by the Belo Monte dam. Bring a small tree or potted plant, wear blue or paint yourself blue "Avatar"theme.
Come to the Brazilian embassy 16 Cockspur st SW1Y 5BL at 1pm to show concern over this climate, deforestation and land rights issue. Fb group Action for the Amazon more info
network it

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Action for the amazon meeting mon 22nd April

Next meetin about our action for the amazon Mon 22nd, 7pm at the crate pub queens yard, hackney wick...e9 5 en
network it Fb group Action for the Amazon

Beltane Rainbow Gathering from Full Moon 25th April to Full Moon 25th May at Runnymede Eco Village

Consensus reached for Beltane Rainbow Gathering from Full Moon 25th April to Full Moon 25th May at Runnymede Eco Village. Near windsor.Seed Camp has begun. For location www.diggers2012.wordpress.com
Also www.rainbowgathering.org.uk

Thursday, 18 April 2013

This new law .....from squatters rooftop resistance http://rooftopresistance.squat.net/this-new-law/

In 2012, as we all know, the new offence of squatting in a residential building was created by the Government, following a moral panic in the media whipped up by a few right-wing politicians. After a rushed consultation, a last-minute clause was added to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill (LASPO) which meant that it was never properly discussed in the House of Commons. The bill was then pushed through the House of Lords at midnight. Section144 criminalises trespass in a residential building with up to 6 months in prison and/or £5000 fine. Previous campaigns to criminalise squatting in the late 1970s and mid 1990s had failed, unfortunately this time it partially succeeded. This new law is ridiculous and has already had fatal implications. Daniel Gauntlett froze to death outside a derelict house in Kent after being told he would be arrested if he entered.

When the new law was under discussion, Leslie Morphy, chief executive of Crisis, said: “A year’s imprisonment for some of society’s most vulnerable and desperate people is draconian and utterly counterproductive. Independent research is clear that 40% of single homeless people have resorted to squatting.” She proceeded to say “they squat out of necessity, not choice, in atrocious conditions where they are least likely to be disturbed. These are people that need help, not a year behind bars and a £5,000 fine” (the maximum penalty later became six months in jail).

A Freedom of Information request of January 2013 reported 102 arrests across the UK with 13 convictions. Three of these have resulted in custodial sentences. A SQUASH report analyses these figures in greater detail.

Three squatters were arrested in a building in Brighton in September last year after a a seven hour stand-off and they intend to fight the charges. This website is set up to support them.

Since then many squatters have been evicted under threat of arrest and in Romford two men have been convicted of squatting a pub, despite the consultation paper stating plainly that “the Government will not seek to criminalise squatting in non-residential buildings, such as disused factories, warehouses or pubs.” In the main, it seems that a standoff has developed where the police are fairly reluctant to charge people, but will use it to evict under threat of arrest, especially when the squatters are seen by them as easy targets.

This might then explain why 41 out of the 95 people arrested for squatting by the Metropolitan police were Romanian (who perhaps but not necessarily were inexperienced squatters and/or could not speak English very well to assert their rights). The Evening Standard panted excitedly that “some will see the squatting statistics as justification for ending the migration rules — which only allow Romanians and Bulgarians to work here in agricultural jobs or as self-employed.” Not us.

So how many people are actually squatting? This seemingly arbitrary figure of 20,000 has been bandied about a lot, but I suspect it could be a lot higher in reality. The managing director of a “vacant property specialist” firm stated in the Evening Standard in 2012 that “There are about 100,000 cases a year in the UK, and there is significant risk that comes with that,” although of course the more squatters the merrier in terms of his business.
There is really no way to tell, however we do have firm statistics on the number of empty buildings. According to the group Empty Homes as of November 2012 there were 710,140 empty homes, just over 3% of the total stock. (Click on the pic to the right to enlarge.)

What is really going on? Might the Government have decided to criminalise squatting to prevent people from occupying houses as the cuts start to bite? In December 2012, Shelter released a report which claimed that one in every 115 households across England is at risk of homelessness. It stated that “in the 12 months to September 2012, 198,470 households were threatened with losing their home – equal to cities the size of Liverpool or Bristol being evicted or repossessed”.

How could this be happening? Well, the writing has been on the wall for a long time. To turn again to the experts, Shelter produced a report in 1991 which argued that unlike most other European countries, where housing policy is based on “reduction of inequalities between different forms of housing, or responding to changing housing needs,” in England housing policy “has been driven primarily by the wish to increase owner occupation and reduce the role of local authorities in providing homes for rent” (‘Urgent Need for Homes’).

A group of 40 lawyers recently wrote to the Guardian, saying that “none of the 33 known arrests so far (leading to 10 convictions and three prison sentences) involve the squatters having displaced people from their homes. The properties concerned were all empty.” This meant that the predictions of a previous letter signed by 160 housing experts were correct, despite the signatories being described by Grant Schapps as “sadly out of touch“. They had suggested that the law was not needed and would end up being used to protect emptiness.

One of the signatories was Andrew Arden QC, a leading expert on housing law, who said “The only difference from the old law is that it wasn’t criminal before, until you were asked to leave. It is a superfluous law that criminalises action taken by the most needy whose housing needs are certainly going to worsen.” This at a time when, as the Independent reports, the latest Government figures show 34,080 families were homeless in 2012, up 12 per cent on the previous year.

As Polly Toynbee warned last year, “The epic scale of the crisis now unfolding is only just dawning on some: most of the public may not see it until late next year” but she argues more recently that “Labour’s answer must be build, build, build.” I don’t agree. Surely the first act should be to use the empties, exactly what the squatters have been shouting from the rooftops since the 1970s as in Ron Bailey’s book The Homeless and the Empty Houses. For all its dumbing down of the issues, the Great British Property Scandal did a good job of arguing precisely that.

The winds of change do seem to be slowly picking up. The Government is considering a plan to make it easier to convert offices into residential. Yet remember that this is also the Government which criminalised squatting, probably because it saw better than anyone else that we are heading into a housing crisis the likes of which we haven’t seen since the 1970s (when a strong politically active squatters movement arose).

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Earth First Summer Gathering: 7th-11th August 2013

Earth First Summer Gathering: 7th-11th August 2013
Earth First Summer Gathering | 06.04.2013 10:00 | Climate Chaos | Ecology | Energy Crisis

This year's the Summer Gathering will be in the Hastings area near the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road campaign. It will run from the evening of Wednesday 7th August and finish on Sunday 11th August.

The Earth First Summer Gathering takes place each year to provide a space in which the radical ecology movement can share skills and plan for future campaigns and actions. Anyone who is interested in ecological direct action will have a valuable part to play and is welcome to come to this family friendly gathering. If you've not been to an Earth First Gathering before and are thinking about it, please do come, we are a very friendly, welcoming bunch and would love to have you get involved

Programme: Workshops, skill sharing and planning action, plus low-impact living without leaders. Meet people, learn skills.
Transport/location: exact location will be announced 2 weeks before gathering on website.
Cost: £20-£30 from each person to cover all costs except food. (If you really can't afford this, please come anyway and give what you can).
Food: Delicious vegan food will be available, and meal tickets will be on sale at the gathering.
What to bring: Everyone will be camping so bring a tent, sleeping bag etc.
If you have any particular accommodation, access or dietary needs please tell us asap but at least two weeks in advance so we can plan suitable facilities. There will be a small amount of living vehicular space if booked in advance, on a first come first served basis.

Contact: summergathering-at-earthfirst.org.uk
Earth First Summer Gathering
e-mail: summergathering@earthfirst.org.uk

Saturday, 6 April 2013

The Art of psy & Valhalla this ''Saturday 6th of April'' 5 rooms of electronical music all genres expected

The Art of psy & Valhalla this ''Saturday 6th of April''
5 rooms of electronical music all genres expected .Call infolines after 8pm
07990678723 / 07766973613 or check www.facebook.com/events/215450595265081
See you on the dance floor!! pass it on to ur friends

London Lunateka sat may 25th

Hi. So it's freezing now but in 2 months time we'll be dancing with our tops off at London Lunateka! Saturday May 25th (bank holiday) sees old party stalwarts Club Neurotica and Trancentral join forces with a full moon to bring you a 12hour extravaganza of a party. A huge lineup of the best DJs & bands makes it hard to list here, but check www.accessallareas.org for lineup and earlybird tickets or FB search 'London Lunateka'. 10pm-10am,N15. CU there8-)x

Friday, 5 April 2013

Benefit for mobilisations against immigration raids.sat 6th April

Oi crabrades,snowy side scuttlers,There will be a party,it will be great.Benefit for mobilisations against immigration raids. Food,info,bar,bands,dj's &... pinatas! 8pm til real late. Sat 6th april, SE1 location,call on the night -07867038852 or 07438379966. Suggested donation £4, penniless not refused xx

Steam punk party tonight fri 5th April

Roll up! Roll up! Good sirs and madams. For One night only, we are proud to present, "External Combustion"! A night of steam powered pandemonium. Get your glad goggles on, polish up your brass and prepare for the party. Call 07944541566 after 10pm this Friday night. £5 entry unless you are dressed in the relevant steam punk attire. Expect knee slapping ditties From Smoky Bastard, Will Tun and the Wasters, plenty of bass heavy dance floor bangers from our friends in The Arsenal. Powered by IRD sound system. Invite your friends and familiars...

New on Nearly Legal: Phoenix from the flames ,Legal blog notes our victory at high court set some precedent

New on Nearly Legal: Phoenix from the flames

Phoenix from the flames
Posted: 23 Mar 2013 11:01 AM PDT
There was an interesting case-note on Lawtel this week which I suspect most of you saw. The case was LB Enfield v Phoenix and others, High Ct, March 19, 2013, and seemed to concern the circumstances in which a possession claim can properly be issued in the High Court. I have been provided with a note of judgment and so can give you a bit more detail.

Imagine, if you will, that a large number of the good people of North London are, to put it mildly, somewhat dissatisfied with the Tory/Lib Dem cuts to public expenditure (a view, I should add, which is plainly shared by all right-thinking people). One aspect of the cuts is that many local authorities, including LB Barnet, have reduced their library services. Well, these fine people weren’t prepared to stand for this and occupied one of their local libraries, and, as I understand it, although a possession order was granted against them, the local authority and the occupiers have now reached an agreement to ensure that the library stays open, albeit with significant volunteer involvement (see here, for example).

At least some of the “guerrilla librarians” (as I will call them, because I like the mental imagery) then moved on to occupy other property, including a non-residential property in Enfield which was owned by LB Enfield.

As one might have expected, Enfield issued possession proceedings in the Barnet County Court. They were seeking an interim possession order. regrettably (for them at least), something went wrong at Barnet CC. According to the note of judgment, there were unspecified procedural irregularities which led to the claim being dismissed. It also seems that the council, although represented at court, failed to appreciate that the case had been called on and, presumably, this meant that no-one appeared for the council. And so the claim was dismissed.

Enfield LBC then decided to issue fresh proceedings. In the High Court. This is relatively unusual. CPR 55.3 generally requires a possession claim to be issued in the court for the area where the land is situated. Claims can be issued in the High Court, but there needs to be something “exceptional” about the case (CPD PD 55, para.1.1). In the case of a claim against trespassers there needs to be “a substantial risk of public disturbance or of serious harm to persons or property which properly require immediate determination” (CPR PD 55, para.1.3).

Both the judge and the first defendant (represented pro bono by the marvelous Emily Wilsdon, and instructed by the well-known housing law nut, Giles Peaker) took the point that, well, the claim didn’t come within the scope of the practice direction. For Enfield, it was said:

(a) that the occupiers were raising human rights defences under Arts.10 and 11, ECHR which involved complex issues of law; and,

(b) there was a risk of disorder at the eviction stage.

HHJ Reddihough was having none of it. The defences were well within the competence of a Circuit or District Judge to deal with (which must be right – there are quite a few judgments on this issue, e.g. here). The Practice Direction required an immediate, present and/or substantial risk. The possibility of future risk was insufficient. There was no evidence to suggest that the occupiers posed any such risk nor was there even any likelihood of such a risk occuring.

The appropriate order was to transfer the claim to the Barnet County Court. As to costs, the costs of issuing in the High Court and certain costs of attending the hearing were ordered not to be recoverable by Enfield, regardless of the results of the trial. And, as counsel and solicitor had acted pro bono, Enfield were ordered to pay £500 to the Access to Justice Foundation.

For those who want a slightly more sober write-up, see here and here. Aside from my amusement, there is actually a useful practice point in here about the (very limited) circumstances in which a possession claim can properly be issued in the High Court.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Library squatters update Press release put out rather late after 19th march court case ( just to keep u up to date with the saga)

High Court Judge calls on Enfield Council to use common sense and negotiate with
Famous Friern Barnet Library squatters.

The next squat on from the Peoples library that the library caretakers and activists from the Occupy Movement have occupied is the Arnos Family Resource Centre (ARC)

Recently on the 11th of march in Barnet county court, the ARC Occupiers (Arnos Grove Family Resource Centre), defeated an application for an interim possession order which would have forcefully evicted them in less than 24 hours.(The councils barrister failed to come into the court on time.)
3 days later, we received a new application for possession, this time to be heard on the 19th of March at the Royal Courts Of Justice.

We are the caretakers who squatted Friern Barnet Library back in september 2012. At the time it was an empty and disused building which was going to be sold to private developers and was going to get demolished. Our action successfully resulted in transforming it into an active library and community hub. Since then it has been handed back to the local community who currently run it. The library now has more than 12, 000 donated books and is open 6 days a week.

We attempted to contact Enfield council during the first weeks of the occupation, we sent them our first negotiation letter about who we are and our plans. Throughout this process we have offered to arrange a leaving date and have reasonable negotiations.

We are still open to negotiate while the council who seem to prefer to waste taxpayer's money on court ( nearly £8,000 so far due to unnecessarily taking us to high court and excessive barristers fees)

The high court judge HHJ Reddihough told Enfield Council that they have failed to prove any evidence about their accusation of substantial risk to persons or property and on the contrary we might be useful to the community as our dozens of support letters from Barnet and Enfield residents show, the council should reflect on their position and come to terms with us without wasting any more money.

Senior solicitor for Enfield council, Antonia Makanjuenjuela, (£229 pounds per hour), says in her witness statement as their main argument at the high court.
"The Defendants are members of a protest group... Occupy... The protest group is large, highly organised and can quickly mobilise large groups..."

The Judge said there is nothing illegal about peaceful protest, he quoted some lines from over 20 support letters we received from the community,and stated

"we are not a substantial and immediate risk to persons and property we haven´t breached any law by using our right to protest against government cuts and austerity. Commercial squatting is lawful, protesting is legal. There is no illegal occupation as the council keep saying.The judge asked the council to hear a proposition, that we, the Defendants could put together in the lunch hour.
Our barrister Emily Wilsdon put forward a proposal of a licence to stay and use the space as a community centre and to leave when the building was actually needed for development with a agreed period notice to quit.

The council refused any proposals and wanted us to leave within 3 days.

At the hearing the judge clearly stated his surprise about a council with a whole legal department committing so many procedural mistakes and lack of evidence that he threw the case out of the High Courts of Justice to be heard back in the Barnet County Court some point around mid April (a date to be found)
The councils excessive legal fees of £5,000 were denied as they lost the case.
In addition the council were ordered to pay extra £800 to the 'Access To Justice Foundation' http://www.accesstojusticefoundation.org.uk/ who help to provide pro bono legal services.

Pete Phoenix veteran community housing activist said
" we wish to see more common sense were some of the 1.4 million empty buildings in the UK are used to create homes,community projects and jobs rather than the governments latest laws that criminalise the homeless and dispossessed.In the middle of a housing crisis the government has put property rights above the human right to shelter.
It is ironic that Enfield council wants to evict 14 people including a 3 month pregnant woman from a Family centre, to be turned out into the snow.
We have already begun to see the tragic effects of the Governments new anti squatting law with the death of Daniel Gauntlett outside an empty boarded up bungalow in Kent.

For more information or an interview
Contact Pete Phoenix 07769 791387
And Pedro Occupy News Network 07446 605772

Squash campaign to repeal the squatting law contact your MP network it

Hi there!

On 4th March, SQUASH launched a new campaign and report at a meeting in the House of Commons of concerned MPs, Lords, lawyers, homelessness groups, academics, campaigners and squatters.

The campaign is calling for a repeal of Section 144 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill (LASPO), the new criminal offence of squatting in a residential building. A petition has been set up here.

We are pleased to tell you that the pressure is building. This week 40 lawyers signed a letter which was published in The Guardian calling for a repeal of the law as SQUASH research has found that:
None of the arrests so far have involved squatters displacing people from their lived-in homes
All arrests have involved people squatting in empty properties of which there are now over 1 million in the UK
All those who have been handed custodial sentences so far were all previously homeless
The offence was not necessary to protect home occupiers, it is not being used for that purpose.

Furthermore an Early Day Motion has been tabled in Parliament by John McDonnell MP also calling for a repeal. This is where we are asking you for a favour. We would really appreciate it if you could write a letter to your MP or use our template below urging them to sign it. If you don’t know who your MP is you can use TheyWorkForYou website to find out.

Template letter:

Dear “Your MP Here”,

As your constituent I am writing urging you to sign an Early Day Motion recently tabled that recognises the damage being caused by the new squatting law (Section 144, LASPO) which was brought in on September 1st 2012.

The link to the Early Day Motion is here: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2012-13/1238 which has support from 40 top lawyers who all signed a letter published in The Guardian which can be read here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/mar/25/squatting-law-should-be-repealed

Recent research carried out has shown that as feared, homeless and vulnerable people are being disproportionately affected. Some have gone to jail and even worse it looks likesomeone may have died outside an empty bungalow as a direct result of the new legislation.

On top of this – zero people have been caught in someone else’s home – as was predicted by hundreds of legal experts prior to criminalisation including The Law Society. This directly contravenes the whole reason the law was pursued in the first place.

The law has removed a necessary last resort for many – considering the current housing crisis and huge rise in homelessness. Furthermore, it is encouraging property speculators and foreign investors to keep properties empty – of which there are now over 1 million in the UK.

With a new wave of welfare reforms to come in on April 1st the option of housing yourself in an empty property must remain a possibility for the most vulnerable in our society.

For a full analysis please read the latest SQUASH campaign report here:http://www.squashcampaign.org/repeal-law/the-case-against-section-144-2/

Yours Sincerely,

All the best,

Squatters Action for Secure Homes

07415 516 105