good for bristol

Monday, 17 December 2012

Free - to squat again!

The police have dropped all charges against me and the other five people arrested in Broadmead on 27 October - YAY!

We were charged with criminal damage and abstracting electrictiy after squatting the former Bon Marche shop in the middle of Broadmead.  We were bailed to return to Southmead police station today to see if it was going to procede to court.  The police have decided to drop all charges - although didn't tell us before at least two of our number footslogged it all the way to Southmead in the rain - leaving the way clear for us to consider suing for illegal eviction.

Meanwhile in the early hours of last Saturday five people were arrested and the "Cut the Crap" cafe squat evicted by the police in Bristol town centre.  They were arrested for - guess what - criminal damage and abstracting electricity, the same as us.  This time the police didn't even bother charging and bailing them, just let 'em go after a few hours.

This makes it the Hobgoblin pub, Muller Road, Queens Square, New Street Flats, Bon Marche and now the Preview Bar that have all been squatted and evicted by the police using thin to non-existant grounds.  In all of these police evictions no-one has been convicted.  Often no-one has even been charged with anything, when people have been charged they've always been dropped.

It's clear the police in Bristol have adopted an informal policy of illegal evictions and - so far - they've got away with it.  However our crew is now considering their legal options and I think the Cut the Crap group are too.  It's not ok for police to ignore the law.

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