Saturday, 29 August 2015

Last Of The Summer Wine - Squat Update

  
As if children around the country who are on their last weeks of summer holidaying don't already know it - but the weather has taken an unfavourable turn in recent weeks.
Which we also notice here, the change slowly in hand in our squat as we move closer to Autumn, there is a wee chill about in the morning and early evening, but not as yet that ferrous like and biting cold, but it’s not far away that's for sure, something for all of us to look forward to I suppose - and I'm joking of course.

Just keeping warm and eating the right quantities of healthy food will be the next battlefront to be fought on by many a family in the coming months. What a job parents have had to do this summer in just feeding hungry young people during these annual holidays but still 40 per cent of teachers believed children weren’t eating enough in these holidays, and even research from Kelloggs has shown that one in five families struggled to feed their kids during this time.

Facing Eviction Once More

After almost six weeks we went to court yesterday to defend our occupation of this former Victorian public house here in Kentish Town, Camden. The result was predictably the same as it has always been in all of the buildings we have occupied during the course of the last 10 months - ordered to be turned out onto the streets. The owner however, did fail to gain an interim possession order in court as he neglect to attach a response sheet to the paperwork served on us, however, the Judge did award a full possession order which we believe is somewhat unusual in these circumstances so we will be considering lodging an appeal after the bank holiday weekend.

Open Weekend And Film Nights

Queens Crescent facilitates one of London's oldest Street markets which did have up to 90 mainly family-run stalls that have been passed down from generation to generation but sadly like so many such markets situated in such working class parts of London is now in decline and only half the allocated stall spaces are in use, a singing of the times. Queen's Crescent market has been described in the past as a mixture, with pretty plain white houses sitting side by side with large council estates, some of which sit in beautifully landscaped grounds.

It is therefore evident from our stay in and on Queens Crescent that the general population are being squashed, squished like mud under foot and squeezed by austerity, the cuts, and of course gentrification as the developers move in which is part of the plan which the owner (in partnership with the Royal Bank of Scotland) of this property is hoping to profit from.

Yesterday, we opened our doors to the public and invited those interested to take a look at our squat, to take tea, coffee and enjoy skipped cake from a high-class cake shop in Soho. We set up a free book stall outside our door and gave away balloons to children, the response was amazing and very supportive. A postman told us that he was very worried about the future in an area that has been home to generations of the same families, we received donations of both food and money and in the evening we held a film showing featuring some short films about gentrification in other European countries and how to fight it such as in Turkey with the main film showing of Cathy Come Home by Ken Loach made in 1966 still very power today. The play tells the story of a young couple, Cathy (played by Carol White) and Reg (Ray Brooks). Initially their relationship flourishes; they have a child and move into a modern home. When Reg is injured and loses his job, they are evicted by bailiffs, and they face a life of poverty and unemployment, illegally squatting in empty houses and staying in shelters for the homeless. Finally, Cathy has her children taken away by social services.

The day was indeed very successful we hope to do much more of this sort of thing in times to come.

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