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The Forest Café (a volunteer run venue/cafe/arts space in Edinburgh) was forced to close back in August when the building's owners went bankrupt. It has now risen phoenix-like and been re-christened 'The Peoples' Café' as a over 100 people are now occupying the building.

The occupiers are planning to reopen the space to the public and are calling for others to come pitch in. Unlike in England & Wales where squatting is not a criminal offence (yet – see SchNEWS 795) in Scotland it is punishable by up to 21 days in prison. So if your currently squatting south of the border why not head up to Edinburgh for a taste of what life might be like post-criminlisation?

A 'spokesman' for the former Forest Cafe has already distanced themselves from the current occupation. Harry Giles said: "It's not a Forest led occupation. It's not been organised by us and it's an entirely different group of people who have taken this action." The Forest's reputation is not entirely spotless with talk of missing money and paid management lording it over volunteers doing the rounds, hopefully the new collective will be a little more um... collective.

To get involved head to 3 Bristo Place, Edinburgh or call 07799737995.

There are 2 comments on this story...
Added By: Oatcake - 8th December 2011 @ 6:16 PM
Added By: Philip - 26th March 2012 @ 12:15 PM
"talk of missing money and paid management lording it over volunteers"
... it's not responsible to print rumours without any kind of references or backup at all.

I can tell you that the Forest trustees, ably assisted by volunteers, have been putting in some good hard work looking for new premises and I for one have confidence in them.
Stories about similar subjects...

After Brighton University students waited until the coast was clear the N30 campus lockdown to occupy in protest in solidarity with the public sector workers, against the increase in fees and the fact that the VC made noises in opposition to the White Paper to please students and staff - and then signed a public letter to the government in support of fee increases. The uni is also targeted for their lack of transparency regarding links to dodgy private companies.

The Bigger Society Social Club opened its doors to the public of Lenton, Nottingham on Monday (28th) morning only to have them kicked in and closed a few hours later.

Occupy LSX took a third space in London last week as a group from the camp liberated an abandoned three storey complex of four interlinked office blocks in Hackney.

A sad day for the Bristol squat scene as the long-running Factory social centre finally bit the dust in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The Cigarrones travellers' site is one of several communities which have sprung up near Orgiva in Andaluci­a, Spain, in recent decades. Coming to the southern tip of Europe to escape the repression against travellers in Britain and elsewhere, they have carved out a life of avin' it autonomous anarchy - diespite increasing attention from tinpot local authorities who act like Franco is still in. Since 1997 the site has held the annual Dragon Festival - now arguably one of the most significant free festivals in Europe - but this is also under attack. Here is a brief history written by a resident of Cigarrones:


On Wednesday (26th) the government published its response to the squatting consultation. While none of us were expecting anything sensible to come from a Tory government foaming at the mouth at the prospect of kicking an unpopular minority, the speed of the knee-jerk reaction and its implementation is beyond even our cynical predictions.

Twitter: @SchNEWS