Bailiffs fail to evict Bath social centre squatters

Zardoz tony at
Thu Dec 17 19:57:32 GMT 2009

Bailiffs fail to evict Black Cat social centre squatters
Word on the street is that the squatters got back in to the building within 20 minutes of the bailiffs leaving
Following the eviction of the Black cat Centre yesterday, the building has been re-squatted. Local activists and residents, acting in solidarity with the recentley evicted Black Cat squatters last night squatted the building again, and intend to continue operating it as The Black Cat Socail Centre. Speaking to Bath Activist Network last night, one of the new squatters, a resident of Oldfield Park, said 'The work that the original Black cat squatters put into the social centre was so insiring, and such a benefit to the community that we felt that we had to act, and re-open the social centre to the community for as long as possible'.

Bailiffs evict social centre squatters
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Bailiffs have evicted squatters who had set up a social centre in an empty building in Bath.
The group moved into a commercial building at Upper Bristol Road three months ago and set up the Black Cat Centre.
This morning around 10 people - the squatters and some supporters - held a peaceful protest before leaving the property after being served with an eviction notice.
The notice was served by court bailiffs after legal action by property company Cabot, which owns the building at Kelso Place.
One of the three squatters, student Freya Walker, said that the group had decided not to resist the eviction and to move on quietly.
She said: "We packed all our things up, and decided to leave quietly when the bailiffs came.
"We just wanted to do something that would benefit the community as a whole.
"We offered to pay a small amount to use the space, but they said no.
"It is just greed and selfishness really."
Miss Walker, who is 19 and studying philosophy, ethics and religious studies at Bath Spa University, said the building had been empty for about nine years and that it was a shame for it not to be used.
Along with others she entered the building by climbing in through an open window.
The centre has been home to dance classes, a library, film nights and the monthly freeshop, where people were invited to donate items as well as picking out clothes, videos and CDs to take away free of charge.
Miss Walker said: "This is such a beautiful building, and it is awful that it has been left empty for so long.
"We were not going to just keep the building for ourselves, we wanted to share it with the whole community.
"All the neighbours have been really supportive, and have enjoyed what we have done.."
Miss Walker said that the group were looking at alternative sites for the social centre, which is named after a symbol of radical action.
She said: "We will find somewhere else to run the social centre, still under the name of Black Cat."
Other activists suggested a location had already been found.
Cabot declined to comment.
Radical action websites had described the centre as "Bath's only autonomous social space."
Squatting is not illegal as long as the occupants of a building did not break into the property.
Activists say Cabot wants to redevelop the building for housing.

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