Freedom News

London squatting opportunity of the week – shop will Eat itself

In the second instalment of Freedom’s woeful rip-off of a much more successful column, to commemorate 10 years since the criminalisation of squatting in residential buildings, George F glibly presents housing opportunities for those who would wish to take them.

What is it? Do you remember Eat? Do you remember those countless hours you spent, gambolling betwixt the shelves laden with deliciousness, cavorting with the merry nymphs who frequented the tills there, the endless feasting and delight? How the hum of the refrigeration units soothed your weary soul as you queued in somnambulic bliss in the 30 minutes you are allotted to stuff your food hole by the spreadsheet factory? Or did you perhaps join the 6pm queue, breathless with anticipation, your knickers sopping with excitement as you wrestled with the other raggamuffin hustlers to try and intercept a steamy pink bag of freshly binned sarnies before they were snatched away by the zealous garbage collectors?

Then, in 2020, it was declared we shall EAT no more. They were swallowed up by Pret a Manger, and their final tweet from the bowels of that bigger beast blarted: “After 24 years of creating, making and serving real food, it is time for us to say goodbye. Thank you to all of our wonderful customers – we’ve loved every minute of our journey.”

Do you sometimes hover outside the now eerily vacant shops, nose-pressed to the glass, gazing into the gloomy tomb of capitalism, still taunted by the command that insists you gorge yourself, when the shelves are now bare?


Now all the shelves are empty, yet the command continues, and you pantomime force imaginary baguettes into your mechanically clacking maw, masticating air muffins and scooping fictitious memories of food into your all-too-real and hungry belly. Where once the drone of chillers soothed, now your stomach squarks and gurgles like a backed-up drain as you strain to take that first bite with your eyes.

And there in the glass, both between and beyond your own reflection, smeared through the grease and mist your breath and saliva has sharted upon the silica, an epigram:

As abolitionists denounced the slaveholder’s tyrannical power, another group of reformers denounced the mesmerist’s magnetic control over his somnambulic subject as a type of psychological slavery.

The Antislavery Unconscious: Mesmerism, Vodun, and “Equality”

Where is it?

Tantalisingly, the EAT almost-nearest to Buckingham Palace remains only temporarily closed, and daily as you battle enraged pelicans and confused tourists in the gardens of Green Park you can rush there, across the City, from your job in a convulsive migration that bewilders your co-workers as you return later and later to your post, increasingly feral and ravenous. Makes you wonder, did Andrew ever pop-in, not sweating, and lunch at those hallowed halls as he once did at the Pizza Express of Woking? Did the Big Lizzie ever don cloak and beanie and swagger down into the aisles in a Kappa trackie to rummage through the shelves for the last sarnies? Did the butlers and serfs of Bucky P rendezvous there to curse the regal countenance and sustain themselves on the lush breadage contained within?

You know it is inevitable. If you can longer EAT in EAT, then you must entomb yourself within and fast behind the dusty counters, in tribute and memoriam, guarding the empty shelves awaiting the return of the savoury morsels. Your long watch commences, at potentially 75 locations across London. Others will join you, now resolute that if they cannot EAT, then famish they must.

What is there to do locally? Why isn’t every city and thoroughfare emblazoned with such commands, They Live style, the streets a-ruckus of overlong fight sequences between wrestlers and aliens? Single word imperatives compelling every action – toilets beneath Mono Sans SHIT. Existential dread highlighted by the word SCREAM written above every bridge. FEEL above every mirror. EXIST on every clockface.

How do we get in? SPEAK, friend, and you shall enter. The doors are but mere glass, and the locks of Euro, now Brexitted out of existence and into bleak obseletion.

WONDER, friend, at how a single word can compel, and roughly 550 more at last count do so little. Such is the mesmerism of capitalism. EAT, at the empty shop. SLEEP, upon the deathless concrete. DREAM, of awakening another. SPIT, and together we drown the bastards.

Wank, bollocks and doggerel, dear reader, if you have ventured this far, then perhaps you have gripped the shite-style of our mediated delusion. VICE speaks of the nightmare of renting, yet organises Proud Boys and appropriates our seizures of mansions in its relentless co-option.

EAT, commands the empty shop. SUBMIT, pressures the vice. DESTROY, compels the death-reality.

George F squats and writes.

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