About Us
Back Issues
The free weekly direct action newsheet published in Brighton since 1994 - Copyleft - Information for Action

you snooze, you lose

Autonomous Homeless Shelter loses eviction hearing in Brighton's Magistrates Court.

Demonstrators gathered outside Brighton and Hove Town Hall on Wednesday (6th). Later that evening they held a Mass Sleep Out to raise awareness about the problem of homelessness and inform people about the AHS (Autonomous Homeless Shelter). The decision about the sleep out came after Brighton’s squatted AHS got served with eviction papers for a court hearing.

Around 25 people arrived at 4pm, most planning to spend the night until the following morning when the council workers arrive at work. The sleep out began early so the action could be visible as they finished work. A soup kitchen was provided, serving up a hearty bean stew, home-made sour dough bread and cake for all participants. People planning to attend were encouraged to bring sleeping bags, blankets, roll mats and other relevant material. As people started turning up, council security staff came out and warned everyone not to cross the invisible line in front of the council building entrance, otherwise everyone would be moved on. Throughout the day and night many people approached the congregation to offer their support and words of encouragement.

The action effectively went off without a hitch. Unfortunately the court hearing on Thursday (7th) resulted in a fail for the AHS. They’ve lost the building behind London Road; Brighton magistrates’ court handed a possession order over to the building’s owner. The exact date they have to vacate the premises is not known yet but they will have at most a matter of weeks to find an alternative. One AHS activist said, “The current government has committed to the criminalisation of squatting - projects such as this one show that it is a vital tool for groups and individuals, especially in the face of an economic downturn, rising homelessness and cuts to key services.” Brighton & Hove has one of the highest rates for homelessness in the UK, especially given the high property prices and low average income. A spokesperson for the AHS said they would be appealing the decision.

The shelter has helped support 35 people in the last few months and is currently home to 16 people that otherwise would be sleeping rough. The AHS manifested because of a need to deal with the city’s increasing homelessness problem and the council’s disregard on the matter. An example of the council’s attitude was the closure of St. Patrick’s night shelter on the 31st January with no replacement being provided.

There is 1 comment on this story...
Added By: Optional - 9th June 2012 @ 11:51 PM

I am wondering when the photos from the sleep out will be available?

Many thanks.
Stories about similar subjects...

German anti-fascists take Berlin on 20th anniversary of comrade Silvio Meier's murder.

UPDATE: The sh*t's well and truly hit the fan since we published this interview last week... Stay tuned for more SchNEWS from the front...

Mike Weatherley, the M.P behind the squatting ban, due to deliver a talk on the new squatting legislation, at the University of Sussex today, was instead chased off campus by students and protesters.

Land occupiers fight back as cops try to evict for airport development in France

Out of the squats and into the er... prisons. As, Alex Haigh, the first squatter to be sent down under S.144 recieves three months.

Squatters Legal Network offer support and advice to cracking addicts.

North London library, closed by cuts, opened by squatters.

Predictably enough it was Brighton squatters who found themselves first in the firing line of Hove MP Mike Weatherley's new anti-squatting law.

Twitter: @SchNEWS