London Indymedia

thieving parasitic squat leeches trash rampART social centre

unleaded | 10.03.2008 15:14 | Free Spaces | London

Over the weekend one of the rampART collective caught friends of the neighboring squatters stealing the lead of the roof. Confronted, they justified their action by saying that the place was going to be evicted in a week anyway. Of course that's not actually true, there is no date yet for an eviction and who's is to say that an eviction attempt would succeed. It could have been months before the rampART was finally closed.

Now there is water pissing through the rampART bringing the ceiling down. Not just in the social centre but also the houses in the block as well, including the building used by a local accountant as his office. People personal possessions have been trashed and the buildings made almost uninhabitable for the sake of under one hundred pounds worths of lead.

The scum who did it might try to justify it by saying that it's the developers that pay but that's not really the case. The building are currently occupied and even when evicted they weren't going to be demolished. Now that water is pouring in the building would quickly fall into total disrepair and allow the owners to justify demolition which is what they'd really prefer to do.

So, for the sake of a quick buck, these parasites have basically hastened the end of the social centre and forced those living in the houses to move out ahead of threats from bailiffs. This incredibly anti-social behavior is sadly not untypical.

The St Bart's squat near All Saints DLR was originally squatted as a convergence centre for the Disarm DSEi mobilisation and then was used as a residential squat. Before the place was evicted almost two years later, all the copper and lead was removed and weighed in. The building, which was a council owned adult education centre, was left exposed to the weather and made total unsuitable for reuse when it was considered for the next DSEi convergence. Repairs would cost a fortune so the council will now never put it back into social use, they'll no doubt just let it rot for a few years and then sell it on as land for redevelopment.

thanks a bunch you thieving scum



Hide the following 14 comments

indentify these scum to the movement

10.03.2008 16:00

If people know names/faces then please point them out - these people are fucking a plague on us all and the quicker something happens to them the better.



10.03.2008 21:33

i'd be interested in hearing both sides of this


that DSEI convergence centre

11.03.2008 09:58

i had a mate whol lived there and the kids of the squatters/travellers living there played games of 'crackheads and dealers'.

Kinda gives you an idea of the atmosphere at that place.

To the 'both sides' person, either these bastards stole the roofing whilst people were in the building or they didn't. Thats not a 2 sided thing. Nicking scrap out of a building that no one is in is fine, as is any kind of non personalised financial crime - capitalist property values are a crock of shit. The line is where it hurts other people - and in the case of Ramparts people who are helping others and giving something for free.

still bickers

Empty buildings aint' safe

11.03.2008 15:00

All this won't have happened if:

1) there was somebody in the social centre, and

2) you won't have lost the neighbouring flats, originally occupied by activists, to a bunch of crackheads.

Before you so loudly and angrily complain, think of your responsibilities too.


not a crack head

11.03.2008 15:52

I'm a resident of one of the houses and not a crack head but yes, if the houses had been retained by the social centre then the low life would probably not have had the chance the steal the lead.

There is a long history of thefts and anti-social behavior emanating from some of the houses. In this particular case the thefts were carried out by the brother of one of the original residents who hasn't lived there for several years but somehow gained access via friends who live there now.

rampart resident

DSEi convergence (st matts squat)

11.03.2008 17:12

The DSEI convergence squat was called st matts. Some good stuff did happen their and attempts were made in the early days to run it as a well organised social centre.
Unfortunately those who wanted to do this were too few in a large building with a yard and it was impossible to regulate who came and went, with the result that it did slip into drink, drugs and sometimes violence. Eventually driving out a lot of the people who wanted to look after the place.

I appreciate this debate is two sided. There is always a conflict in squatted spaces between what may be seen by some as middle class activisits and the more hardcore squatter / traveller types, and arguements over who has what rights to squatted space.

I think it is possible for these groups to work sucessfully together and at times in st matts they did, but unfortunately where drink and drugs take hold, places will go downhill.


Reply to...

11.03.2008 18:28

...RampART resident and DSEi convergence:
It is a very true fact: where drink and drugs take over places go down. We probably need to put more effort into deal with those issues: can't ignore and hope for the best. We need to find effective ways to deal. And help the people who are into drink and heavy drugs, as far as we can. And also rise awareness/ provide good quality information to people. So they can have more control on what they are taking.
Drink/ drugs are often the result of social disadvantage, which is something we should take on board. I must apologise for using the word crackhead so lightly...some crackheads are not bad people but beware of your pipes, roofs and belongings!


Middle Class vs Hardcore squatter types?

11.03.2008 19:32

"middle class activisits and the more hardcore squatter / traveller types"

In the case of St Matts is was between decent political activists and wife-beating, child abusing smack head crusties! We shouldn't tolerate scum like that, especially the way some of them at St Matts expose their children to violence against women, hard drugs and alcohol abuse. Don't get me wrong I have met on the whole some of the most decent human beings who are travellers, solid people but there are some scum who parasite off squats and end up using the situation for their own childish drug abuse.

Crack the crackhead heads

The real world

11.03.2008 21:11

In a hidden comment 'Karma' writes "Welcome to the real world, it is for reasons like this that communities want CCTV, that they want police on the beat, that they want scumbags caught and looked up. Now you have experienced the real world that people live in perhaps you will spend less time slagging off the police and the actions that have to be taken to protect communities."

Sure, people want scumbags caught but the police force was set up to protect shops and the rich and that's not really changed much. Funnily enough, most CCTV is placed in a commercial context, protecting shops etc rather than 'communities' (whatever they are). Likewise, you'd be hard pushed to find police on the beat protecting communities (even if that's what they'd like to be doing) but you'll find plenty of police available to protect the status quo and the interests of capital.

Another comment lays the responsibility of the theft on the victims, much like those who say women in short skirts are asking to be raped. The logic here is that the rampart was asking for it because it doesn't have 24 hour security and somehow allowed low life to move into the neighboring houses. Sadly, many (or perhaps all) of the stereotypes relating to squatters appear to be true and Rampart Street suffered more than it's fair share of nutters, thieves, druggies and brew crew.

The anarchist/autonomous movement is unable or unwilling to act as police or security and the people who stole the lead off the roof will probably go unpunished even if their identifies and whereabouts were published. Even if some action were taken against them, it wouldn't change the fact to some people think it's ok to trash perfectly good buildings for a few quids worth of scrap.


something similar in Nottingham

12.03.2008 11:54

I don't know who devastated the project in Nottingham. Lots of people are pointing their finger at two individuals and then backing away from it. See the indymedia articles for Nottingham on ASBO and sankofa over the last two weeks.

Ripping out the copper water tank has damaged clothing and bedding for destitute seekers of asylum. The place has been trashed, and the two chamber cellar flooded with hundreds of gallons of water because they didnt turn the water off before ripping out the tank.

There is no need for me to repeat it all here. You can check it out if you want to. Needless to say, two and a half years work in this place, and a previous three years of work now has nowhere to continue to offer the service in the immediate short term. Currently Im not feeling an awful lot of solidarity around this, although there is some.

Just wanted to say that I am feeling really upset at the moment too and send my commiserations to you.


not nice

13.03.2008 13:38

the theft really sucks. i agree with the person who said theres a big difference between tatting a soon to be demolished building and the situation in this case. alongside the story of the asbo in nottingham which i just read it is hard not to get a bit depressed about things, but to the person who is fucked off with the uk, this short of shit happens everywhere, sadly.
why is it so hard for a bunch of people to sort it out and hold down running a building?
and why do people steal from or trash such great projects?

very disappointed

So who are they?

13.03.2008 14:51

Evidently some folk know these people. Let's see their mugshots etc up. We don't need this shit- anywhere. Like Class War said years ago, it's long past time we policed our own communities.
When we can't even do that what do we say "we need cops". We just look like wankers.
(PS Crack and smack have devastated loads of working class communities as well as the traveller scene.)

Angry Joe

Who done it

14.03.2008 15:18

The persons responsible and caught in the act were an australian called Dave (brother of somebody called Sarah) and his friend Merik. They apparently are squatting somewhere in north london and using a tatty red LDV hitop van, ex post office or parcel force fitted with a roof rack. They apparently offered half the takings to a dopehead called Tonto who lives at number 11a but left him with nothing but a leaky roof and holes in his floor where pulled out the copper pipes, so at least there is some justice in the world.


such a sad blow.

18.03.2008 15:56

Everyone who has put so much work into getting Rampart up and running, in one way or another over the last few years, will know how much of a blow this is. Rampart is such an important part of the activist movement. This will not help matters concerning eviction etc now, all because of a couple of thick headed individuals!

The idiots who did this should be made to pay in some way. So they live in a red van in north London? Would it be possible to make them strip the thing down, sell parts of it for scrap... like they clearly did with the roof!! ... just a thought.

But want ever happens they must pay for there actions.



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