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‘NO COMPASSION’ AS MANCHESTER HOMELESS SQUAT EVICTED
 

Star date: 16th January 2018

BETFRED SQUAT EVICTED AS 17 HOMELESS PEOPLE BACK ON STREETS

Yesterday's early morning eviction of a squat above the BefFred shop opposite Manchester Town Hall has been roundly condemned by housing campaigners, as 17 homeless people were put back on the streets.

Greater Manchester Housing Action stated "shame on whoever it was that made the decision to evict"; while Angela Barratt, of Salford Manchester Street Support, who was volunteering at the squat's night shelter as the eviction happened, told the Salford Star that "There was just no compassion..."

Full details here...


Manchester city centre BetFred squat evicted Manchester city centre BetFred squat evicted Manchester city centre BetFred squat
click image to enlarge

In December, a squat opened up right opposite Manchester Town Hall and above a BetFred shop, as homelessness activists organised as a D.I.Y. night shelter and 'pirate ship' to help the city's homeless (see previous Salford Star article – click here).

As well as being a 'home' for around ten homeless people, the squat, known as Corner House 2, also opened its doors at night for a well organised night shelter to take those off the streets during one of the coldest periods of the year.

The squat gained massive public support, and donations of food and equipment poured in over the festive period, while volunteers gave their time to help with its running. Yesterday morning at 4am, bailiffs, backed up by Greater Manchester Police stormed the building, evicting 17 people who were asleep plus two volunteers.

Eye witness, Angela Barratt, of Salford Manchester Street Support, was volunteering overnight at the squat and tells how people were thrown out before they could gather their belongings...

"There was just no compassion" she says "I was trying to keep everyone calm but there were a few of the bailiffs and coppers who basically wanted trouble, pushing people around.

"Everyone was bewildered as they were asleep and peaceful; that's why we were there to keep them safe" she adds "They were doing no harm in the building, it was kept immaculate by all of them. Fair enough, it's someone else's property but they should be more compassionate."

Greater Manchester Housing Action also condemned the eviction...

"All these individuals have now been made homeless again, down to the actions of the police and bailiffs" stated the group "Since opening, the squat has been providing an efficient shelter service - opening at 10pm and closing the following morning at 10am. It provided beds, hot food and support to people who were sleeping rough. With support from a number of support services, and a large network of volunteers, the squatters were also doing nightly outreach patrols round the city centre, checking in on people sleeping rough.

"In the absence of the Council being able to provide meaningful and dignified night shelters for rough sleepers - let alone deal with the root causes of the problem - these squatters took matters into their own hands" the statement added "In the face of a worsening homelessness crisis, they shouldn't have been evicted - especially on one of the wettest nights of the year.

"Full solidarity from GMHA to the squatters, and shame on whoever it was that made the decision to evict" it concluded "Empty buildings should be repurposed for housing needs now!"

When squat organisers went back to the building yesterday to reclaim possessions they were refused but after emergency appeals on social media yesterday, more donations have been given.

The Salford Star understands that a new building in Manchester city centre has now been occupied, as temperatures drop and the homeless still find themselves on the streets.


See also previous Salford Star article – Peel Holdings Salford Building Occupied By Homeless – click here


Update: 18th January

'Ethical' Aviva tries to evict new Manchester King St squat, as Manchester Council under fire, and picture emerges of brutal BetFred eviction - click here


Bob the regular wrote
at 20:41:04 on 16 January 2018
Joe is bang on. If you left your dog outside all night in this crap weather the rspca would prosecute you. And rightly so. The thing is, there a no old houses that some young builder could do up anymore to house these people. I take it that the vast majority of the people who have nowhere to live, also have no job. I am told they would get £500 a month housing benefit for a 2 bed house. for an old house done up that is ok, but all the old houses that could have been done up have been knocked down. The numbers do not add up for these new houses. People will die of the cold. By the way, did that girl find out about the guy in the shop doorway the other week? The one she thought had died and they were covering it up.
 
debi blanshard wrote
at 17:08:25 on 16 January 2018
Andy burnham as head of GMP should withdraw police support attendance for evictions immediatly. bernard priests vendetta against squatters should be paid for from his budget. but fudamentaly you cannot expect any different from a head of homeless that publicaly declares hel not build any council housing, persues social cleansing gentrification policies and thinks housing for 60k earners is 'affordable'. same for all 10 councils. they should work with squatters, empty buildings and those charities willing to support them, not victimise people who are trying to show whats possible.
 
Nixon Tod wrote
at 15:32:08 on 16 January 2018
Has anyone asked Bernard Priest and City Council for a comment?
 
Joe O'Neill wrote
at 13:35:56 on 16 January 2018
Shame we fail to get our priorities right, we would be castigated if we left one of our pets out in this weather and yet we turn a blind eye to the suffering which seems to effect more and more. Councils and central government talk the talk but lack the balls to walk the walk. Our mayor likes the publicity walking the streets for an hour or so counting the homeless, Manchester's leadership want rid and these people have no where to turn, i have always felt the duty of care was with our elected leaders perhaps i was wrong none seem to give a F--k.
 
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