Last week I visited the ‘Temporary School of Thought’ at ‘Universecity’, an ‘occupied space’ in Mayfair, one of London’s most expensive quarters. (And one of the most expensive properties in the London Monopoly game).
I said to Claire: “Strange I heard nothing about that beforehand, no rumours at all…”
Claire: “Nor did I, and I know him! He explained to us afterwards that anybody that was interested in the protest was told to come to a meeting well prepared. Bring everything they would need for a few days in the cold. People who wanted to participate in the protest were warned that there was a strong possibility of arrest. After the meeting, anybody that didn’t want to take part in the protest was not allowed home and was taken to a flat and kept in hiding. This way there would be no leaks.”
Ooh, it looks lovely!
The point you make about the Stanstead action is an interesting one. Their strategy of participants turning up with no prior knowledge and not allowing people to leave until afterwards initially sounds hardcore, but this is how Greenpeace run their national actions. They will say it's on 'GM' or 'climate change', and you have to turn up at their offices with sleeping bag, warm clothes, and the day off work on the following day. You then get fully briefed on all aspects of the action, it's purpose, the various roles, risk of arrest, etc. You are then free to opt out, but still have to stay the night to avoid leaks. Generally works like clockwork.
Yes and that's why this action was effective. And also why I get so frustrated at RoR objections to a facebook listing.
Anything REALLY subversive would obviously not be posted on there.
Good on 'em! But what about squatting some nice modernist property now the city is emptying out thanks to the credit crunch… Lots more space opening up. I'm just not a fan of those old building… I love good architecture from the 50s and 60s….
Mr Dippy, the commonwealth institute was squatted for a while, now that is good 'ole modernist architecture.
I'm afraid I don't share your taste myself though.
oh nice… I remember that… we should go squat it again…. and what about the South Bank complex while we're at it????
You are on! We are just waiting for a 28 days later type armageddon scenario for it to empty…
Lauren in London
I'm happy to see these photos — I was curious about the squat when it got media coverage but didn't have the courage or energy to go myself. So interesting! The law in relation to squatting is different in Australia so it's much less common and accepted than it seems to be here in the UK.
Hi Lauren, no courage needed. The youngsters there are welcoming, creative, witty, enthusiastic and interesting.
In fact in addition to negativity in the press about squatters, there is always negativity about teenagers…
I would be proud if my teenager takes part in this kind of thing.
Hey! Thought you might like to know that, at rather short notice, some of us are organising a Temporary School Reunion this Saturday (9th)! We're going to be using some of the empty shop space at Brixton Village:
Also, did Julia get back to you about the big food event at the market next Saturday (16th)? If not, apologies – things have been really crazy – but we'd still love to get you involved! I'll DM you on Twitter about it. 🙂