The JB Spray squat in Radford, Nottingham is under threat of eviction. The occupiers, who have been in the building since May 2009, have been served with notice of a court date for 3rd June. The landlord is intending to gain a possession order and make homeless the many people who have been living in the building for over a year. The occupiers have stated that they intend to resist any attempts to evict them and are asking people to support them.
The former lace factory, which was empty and unused for many years, has been occupied and used for social and community purposes a number of times in the past. On previous occasions squatters were evicted quickly. This is the first time that people have been able to settle and make a proper home in the building.
Those wanting to help with resistance to the closure of this free space should call 07817493824 or email jbspray[at]hotmail.co.uk.
The JB Spray factory was built in 1870 and is a grade 2 listed building. The massive (7 storey) space had been left to rot by its owner and was suffering severe structural damage caused by rain coming through holes in the roof. Ironically, the owner has claimed that he has tried to find community uses for the space, but every time that people occupy the building intending to put it to good use, he seeks to evict them.
In June 2006, a group occupied the Spray stating that "Unwilling to see such a beautiful building left to rot this inspired group is seeking to answer both their own need for housing and the wider community need to reclaim spaces like these as social spaces to share and bring people together." The group invited the local community in for meals and put on musical events. They experienced an illegal eviction by the police acting under the instructions of a woman falsely claiming to be the building's owner. In response, the building was resquatted but was later evicted through legal means.
Almost a year later, in Spring 2007, the factory played host to a busy week of workshops, gigs and actions around the issue of climate change. The building was occupied, temporarily, under the banner of 'Spring into Action'. It showcased practical solutions to climate change, including workshops on bike maintenance, local food production and community compost projects and strawbale building. The week culminated in a daring action that disrupted business as usual at Ratcliffe on Soar power station.
The most recent occupation of the Spray began in May 2009 when a group calling themselves Squat Lobster occupied the building, with a vision of using it as a community space. A number of radical discussions, on space, education and public services were held there. It was also the venue for the weekend long Beyond Borders event which sought to build solidarity and skills amongst migrants and supporters. Early on the occupiers had to protest in the street in order to prevent their water supply being cut of by the Severn Trent Water, but then lived in relative peace until the serving of the notice on Tuesday.