Tuesday, 7 July 2009


Or, "Who let you in?"

Four days after my departure and... this afternoon, the squat is broken into.

This is the window that faces out onto the gangway, now boarded up after today's incident, thanks to a neighbouring squatter with a spare bit of wood and a drill. This was also the entry point for the intruders. The story, as Kitchen Sink Neighbour tells it:
"Peter, who lives in a squat in the opposite block, spotted three Bengali boys breaking into your squat. He said it looked like they were drunk, that they were loitering on the gangway and chancing it with your flat. I also heard what vaguely sounded like smashing glass, but when I went to investigate, I saw the security guard with his dog standing outside the squat, looking at the damage.

Within minutes, Orbis (the Sitex people) were on the scene attempting to break into the squat to close it up. The squatters downstairs and two from a neighbouring block were on hand to kick up a massive fuss and stop Orbis and the security from doing their job.

After a few minutes of this, Orbis left, only managing to crowbar off the lock on your door. A couple of squatters went inside to watch the place afterwards, for a few minutes, to make sure nothing else happened to it.

Your ex-squat was very lucky today, with what the neighbours did. After all, Orbis were in the legal right. There was nobody in the squat after all."
Yes, that's right, there was nobody in the squat. Nobody manning the "staying in" hours. It was fortunate I was on my way to the estate that afternoon anyway and was able to assess the damage straight away. I was both annoyed and disheartened to hear that nobody was in the squat during all of this.

Here is the front door area now -- note the missing Legal Warning.

The front bedroom window from the inside.

Fortunately, nothing was stolen or damaged. But the reality that the squat could've been closed down today and the housemates evicted before they'd even had the chance to collect their stuff -- very close call. No one could've predicted the events at "my" squat today, Kitchen Sink Neighbour later noted. It has shaken us all.