Bailiffs line up at the estate. Image: Sweets Way Resists
This morning, at around 8am, the occupiers, squatters and remaining residents at the Sweets Way estate in Barnet, north London, woke to find the area fenced off and crawling with bailiffs and police. Ambulances stood waiting nearby as the bailiffs prepared to execute a mass eviction, co-orchestrated by Barnet council, the Metropolitan police and developer Annington Homes, which plans to redevelop the site into new flats once the remaining occupiers clear out.
Since this morning, squatters and housing protesters have resisted the bailiffs and police officers as they smashed through fences and attempted to force the occupiers to leave.
I spoke to Cat Denby, one of the occupiers and the campaign's media contact, who told me that bailiffs smashed their way through a glass door in one of the houses while Denby and a fellow occupier pushed their faces against it. Denby says that the bailiffs told the pair to "take responsibility for your actions" as they smashed the glass.
The story of the incident has been backed up by a London Live reporter, who reported during a midday broadcast that he saw "a couple of protesters with bloodied faces walking away". Denby tweeted this photo of the incident:
As bailiffs pushed forward into the estate, some protesters occupied the roofs of the houses while others threw food and supplies up to them. In response, the bailiffs brought in cherrypickers to bring them down again. This video apparently shows bailiffs carrying a protester they removed from a roof.