The eviction of the winter shelter on Gray’s Inn Road on April 7th and 2 other longer-lasting squats in London have lead to approximately 5 more locations being opened and brought back into use by houseless and precarious persons to provide food, clothes and shelter within our community. The disused buildings were occupied and activated by mixed collectives of former rough sleepers, anarchists from the NFA Queer Punx, Amsterdam-based Anarcha-Feminist Group, and members of Resist Anti-Trespass.
The buildings form part of the Autonomous Shelter Network – a mutual aid, mutual respect association dedicated to direct housing and the provision of food and necessities. It is an affiliation of non-hierarchical, horizontally organised groups that are self-organised by community members without the state, business or charities. The locations and exact number of residences has not been disclosed to protect the residents privacy. The shelters are self-organised by residents who determine set and organisational style amongst themselves, with one shelter’s motto being “fuck the bosses”. There are wet and dry spaces, to address the differences in addiction and recovery that different residents experience. There is also a dedicated queer and trans space support the different needs of FLINTA people. There are even a number of ‘micro-squats’ occupied by a minority of people due to personal preference, and also whether or not you enjoy techno music playing 24 hours a day. All the buildings are long-term empties with no immediate plans for use, and some members of the ASN are engaged in attempts to negotiate with owners to secure license, whilst others have no interest in compromised deals with property owners and landlords.
There is a front office as a place of contact for the public, houseless people and the media being established, but for now all queries and requests can be directed to [email protected].
The residents of the former shelter and a nearby squat on Caledonian Road had many possessions stolen by property owners during the evictions, and therefore many of them are without basics or living in places with minimal furnishings. Please contact Victor on the email above if you are able to provide any of the following:
Van/car hire for delivery pick/up
Food, especially canned goods, dried
Cutlery, cooking equipments
Clothing – especially socks, underwear
Mattresses, bedding, blankets
Bicycles, parts, tools
Old laptops, computers, phones
Tools, especially screws
Building materials, wood, metal
The shelters also appreciate volunteers who wish to dedicate time to work alongside residents and collaborate. We are especially interested to contact groups that would be interested to use a large, well-lit, comfortable space for activities and trainings the community could engage in. All the spaces are explicitly anti-authoritarian and encourage a collectivist spirit, and although we strive to understand why people perpetuate abuse, it is not tolerated. If you wish to drop-off any of the above, or indeed meet someone from the network, please contact the person listed above.
FOR AN AUTONOMOUS CITY!
SQUAT THE LOT!
OCCUPY & RESIST!
TRESPASS IS FREEDOM!
FOR A SUMMER OF ANARCHY!