Squatters evicted from East End building

Gerrard Winstanley office at evnuk.org.uk
Fri Feb 3 19:59:01 GMT 2006

Squatters evicted from East End building

26 January 2006 

Riot police stormed a squatting commune throwing more than 20 people 
out onto the street, after they barricaded themselves inside.

One woman screamed as she was carried away by four police officers, 
shouting: "Let go of my arm, you're hurting me."

The squatters, including American-born historian Carolyn Merion, had 
been living in the former Methodist chapel in Sutton Street, Stepney, 
when Tower Hamlets Council served them with an eviction order.

Defiant until the end, the squatters barricaded themselves into the 
building and put chains around the gates of the courtyard.

With the police, dressed in riot gear, outside the gates the people 
inside managed to talk them into standing aside and letting out those 
who wanted to leave peacefully.

The gates opened and five vans, trucks and other vehicles drove off, 
and the gated promptly shut again.

One police officer, who is thought to have tried to gain entry, was 
hurt and was treated at the scene.

A mechanical digger was used to ram the gates and the police entered. 
Inside the found up to ten squatters who had to be dragged out by 

A Tower Hamlets Council spokesperson said: "It was our priority to 
make sure there were no children or elderly people inside.

"We have taken appropriate action to reclaim this site so it can be 
used for a transport depot for children with special needs.

"If anyone here wants to come to the council's homeless unit, they 
will be considered."

The council have now regained possession of the site.

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