Saturday, 28 March 2015

Aylesbury Occupation still ongoing update #olsx @occupynn @bohemians4soho

When we formed a squatters' bloc for the March for Homes, and then entered the first Chartridge block on Saturday 31st January, we never imagined that SEVEN weeks later, we'd still be on the estate, occupying our third block, and despite the measures taken by the council, still resisting the 'regeneration' plans, alongside all the tenants and leaseholders we've made friends with.

For anyone who hasn't visited or seen the place recently, we are now occupying Chiltern House, on the corner of Albany Road and Portland Street. We began by taking the lower floors - formerly the council's own Regenration and Planning Offices but left empty since 2009 - but last weekend moved into flats upstairs as well.

It's not as easy to visit as it used to be. The council have spent many thousands of pounds erecting a big fence around not just us but also the remaining residents in what they call the 'First Development Site', and insisting that even the tenants can only use one of the seven gates around the site. There are between 10-30 security guards on duty at any time, guarding all the gates.

But there are still ways to get in! Even if you're not a super-confident climber. And we would dearly love to see you. We have an array of baths on the 12th/13th floor (including on the balcony for those who like to bathe with a view!) and continuous hot water, so bring a towel and spend a few hours here!

We're going to start running "very practical, hands-on practical squatting skillshares", for anybody who's interested in the possibility of squatting on the Aylesbury itself, or elsewhere. The first one will probably be tomorrow evening (Tuesday 24th). So that's a good time to come down if you want the full guided tour.

The occupation "site phone" is still 0754 680 4591. Give us a ring if you're thinking of coming, so we can advise you on the best way to get in at the time. Even if you just want to drop off supplies or have a chat over the fence, and not come inside the enclosure, we'd love to see you!

As of writing, we still haven't received any court papers for our latest occupation (and we've been there for almost three weeks!) so we've no idea when we might get evicted from it. Come now while you can!

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