On Wednesday night Southwark council workers along with 100 cops attacked squatters on the abandoned Aylesbury housing estate (one of the largest in Europe), in a ‘para-military’ operation.
The cops & council workers were prevented from entering the squatted building earlier in the evening by a burning barricade of mattresses and a steel sheets.An army of cops then descended upon the other steel plated entrance with angle grinders, as sparks started to fly a ferocious resistance ensued, the squatters preventing the cops from entering for two whole hours, as they pelted the cops with any object to hand and broke their angle grinder several times.
Meanwhile as the eviction took place another building was occupied by the squatters just next door, to the embarrassment of the authorities, a building that had previously been squatted but evicted by force by council workers and cops in previous days.
The Alyesbury estate is due to be demolished during the first phase of a £1.5billion, 18-year ‘gentrification’ of the estate. The squatters, who moved in on February 7, object to the scheme and other large ‘social cleansing’ operations that have been taking place at speed in London in the last decade. One squatter claimed that “What’s going on here is effectively social cleansing to make London a nice ‘clean’ place for the rich. A group of us wanted to stand in the way of that so we took over some of the flats as an act of solidarity.”
As the night went a large mob had formed in solidarity with the squatters inside the newly occupied building as it became apparent from threats by the cops that an attack was imminent on the new building too, with accusations of ‘criminal damage’ being used as a pretext. Many anti-gentrification and anti-cop slogans could be heard coming defiantly from the occupied block, creating an energy in the mob below. Then the cops violently attacked the crowd outside snatching individuals they later accused of assaulting cops in the earlier resistance, others of incitement and further assault upon cops. The mob were incensed by the violent arrests and attacks upon them, leading to fights between the cops and the mob.
A siege ensued between the occupiers and the cops late into the night. In the mean time the cops put a ‘dispersal order’ on the whole estate in an attempt to break the solidarity between the group outside and those inside the block. Fortunately for those inside the group kept on coming back despite the police moving them on each time, managing to bring much needed supplies.
As of now the occupation on Aylesbury estate continues with the police hardly present. The squatters were allowed to leave and enter as they please but now security has been employed to try to prevent them from doing so. The arrestees have all been released now with trials occurring at later dates.
The conflict occurring on Aylesbury estate is a light in the darkness that is the belly of the beast, the signal fire that was burnt can lead to others. The unabated ‘social cleansing‘ that is occurring in London against those who do not fit into authority’s image of the perfect city, must be answered with a violence that signals the breakout, by those who do not consume, who refuse the slavery of work, who taint the glass palaces that rise in the urban nightmare, those caught in the prison being built around us.
The city has never been for those who refuse to obey!
It must burn instead, not negotiated with, we do not fit within their plan of a cleansed urban landscape, their regimented excuse for life!
Lets lay waste everyday of our lives to the prison that is the city, finally taking our existence back amongst ashes left behind!