Stokes Croft eviction and protests, 2011

Stokes Croft 2011

In April 2011 a riot broke out in the Stokes Croft area of Bristol, beginning with eviction resistance of a long-term residential squat opposite a newly built Tescos that had been opposed by the local community. The following is a libcom.org forum discussion that followed the events as they unfolded. This was some months before the 2011 London riots.

So the police wrote this ages ago

http://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/LocalPages/NewsDetails.aspx?nsid=23224&t=1&lid=1

But at 2am the streets are still full of people defending the squat, opposite a new Tescos that was widely opposed by the local community.

If anyone's awake and bored, you can watch the action here:

http://bambuser.com/channel/grantikins/broadcast/1596856

Posted By

Ramona
Apr 22 2011 00:51

Share

Attached files

Comments

Ramona
Apr 22 2011 00:58

Tesco just got it's windows caved in

radicalgraffiti
Apr 22 2011 01:02

i've been reading about this on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/search/stokescroft

Samotnaf
Apr 22 2011 03:41

Has it been evicted? What kind of squat was it? Social squat or for people's housing?

Mike Harman
Apr 22 2011 04:53

Photos from twitter

http://t.co/Zwsglvr
http://t.co/jNsaRxt
http://t.co/L5009bt

Article debunking the police press release (which I think was written before any of this actually kicked off)
http://brightgreenscotland.org/index.php/2011/04/police-pr-departments-protest/

Police are/wer being shipped in from South Wales.

@Samotnaf - I am just catching up with this, but as far as I can tell the building was a very long term residential squat. The eviction came very shortly after the new Tesco opposite was opened, but there wasn't a direct connection that I can see.

Mike Harman
Apr 22 2011 05:01

"Democracy in action"
http://twitpic.com/4nstzd (video of a bloke with a nasty head wound).

Mike Harman
Apr 22 2011 05:20

Not read yet, first write-up afaik. (edit: now I've read it and it is quite good for a start)

http://neurobonkers.com/?p=2509

Mike Harman
Apr 22 2011 05:36
Mike Harman
Apr 22 2011 05:58

Early morning photos, still riot police outside the shop, people on roof of the squat - http://twitpic.com/photos/mr_hopkinson

Mike Harman
Apr 22 2011 07:09
Mike Harman
Apr 22 2011 07:14
fingers malone
Apr 22 2011 09:10

Fuck me, it really is 1981 all over again.....

Boydell
Apr 22 2011 09:21

4 or 5 squats near each other around there, it's the focus for the squatting / insurrectionary anarchist folks.

I wasn't there (tucked up in bed grumbling "wtf is that copper chopper playin at?!") but by the looks of the footage it looks like the "normals" from Hamilton House which is up the road turned out as well.

Definitely political - coppers would KNOW this would blow up, altho they probably underestimated the level of resistance (a bit less cracking jokes in the vans afterwards i bet, you smug fucking cunts). The eviction of the squat to stop Tescos kicked off for hours, 800 attended, and that was during the day. Must be either national orders or some new hat wanting to get something on his CV (sounds like the second judging by the plod statement).

So, looks like they've thrown down the gauntlet, on the first day of a 4 day bank holiday weekend as well. Let's see what happens tonight. FYI, St.Pauls is right round the corner from Stokes Croft, and Cabot Circus, the new shopping centre, is down the hill.

The Hamilton House (student/Shoreditch Twat) crowd has already been drawn in. If the St Pauls EMA Warriors and veterans from the 80's riots also get drawn in, and it goes on long enough to give the old CW and hairy libcommers time to get pissed first, this could be tasty.

Or this could be the end of it, and the squatters end up islolated and picked off - you never know with Bristol.

Hamilton House is also the location of the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair on 7th May, and the afterparty is in the Attic Bar, which is also in Stokes Croft.

Sir Arthur Stre...
Apr 22 2011 11:15

Big society innit.

Arbeiten
Apr 22 2011 11:23

:-O heard this on the radio this morning!

posi
Apr 22 2011 11:35
Samotnaf
Apr 22 2011 11:44

fingers malone:

Quote:
it really is 1981 all over again.....

The big Bristol riot of the Thatcher era was 1980, after which anarchists in Brixton graffitied "Bristol today Brixton tomorrow" in Brixton, a concept(ion) giving birth 9 months later.

Devrim
Apr 22 2011 11:49

Why are they against Tesco?

Devrim

Arbeiten
Apr 22 2011 12:11

AAAAAAAALLLLLL the mainstream news headlines are '8 police injured'. I want to know what these injuries are, I remember at one of the london student demos last year turns out one of them was sent to hospital for a cut finger.

apparently there are already 17 Tescos in Bristol. Everyone hates a new Tesco man. They undersell all the locals and are some of the most powerful greedy capitalist bastards in Britain.

I really don't understand this gentrification mentality that turns great 'cultural' sectors shit. Look at Brighton, its well shit now.

here's a vid of a past demo there,
http://wn.com/Protest_at_Tesco_opening_in_Bristol

Samotnaf
Apr 22 2011 12:17
Quote:
I really don't understand this gentrification mentality that turns great 'cultural' sectors shit.

Have you seen this?

Rum Lad
Apr 22 2011 12:25

Good video here:

[video]http://youtu.be/hkCvka1uwuo[/video]

Mike Harman
Apr 22 2011 12:50
Arbeiten wrote:
I really don't understand this gentrification mentality that turns great 'cultural' sectors shit. Look at Brighton, its well shit now.

Gentrification happens in waves. At least in London, it usually goes

-> white working class neighbourhood
-> first wave immigrants
-> second wave immigrants (as the first wave start to move out to the suburbs)
-> squatters
-> students/arty/politicos (usually from outside London or other bits of London, I have been one of them, although usually the areas didn't get properly gentrified until I was already forced out by rents...)
-> slightly more 'professional' young singles ('creative' jobs, not necessarily well off)
-> independent/niche shops/bars/cafes
-> property developers and Estate agents
-> 'single professionals'
-> banks and supermarkets
-> high street shops

Each wave doesn't necessarily lead the to the next, but the latter waves are generally dependent on one or more of the former, it takes something like the Olympics or Canary Wharf to bypass several of the steps. Equally people right up to the niche shops/bars/cafes waves have been involved in resistance to the latter stages (Broadway Market certainly had a lot of people from various of those groups involved - although that's not necessarily a strength but it was an extremely broad cross-section of people that got involved there). It's an interesting process, but people need to be critical about their own role in it - Tesco and property developers don't start this process, that'd give them too much credit, they feed off the top of it.

here's a vid of a past demo there,
http://wn.com/Protest_at_Tesco_opening_in_Bristol

Arbeiten
Apr 22 2011 13:00

Ok guys, thanks for the info. but I have to admit I was joking....(doesn't translate well on the internet i know).

I hear through the grapevine that Hackney have turned a blind eye to loads of people (young bohemian artists, students) who don't pay council tax because they know its the beginning of the gentrification process. The mentality i was more referring to was not the local council/urban planners etc, etc, but the actual Yups who move in, 'oh brighton lanes its really groooOOOOooovy down there, lets move there and increase the land rent'. I wonder how the current economic climate is going to affect this process....

Rum Lad, that youtube video is great, but it is packed full of trolls moaning about their tax money and telling people to go have a wash, join the army, and get a job.

Arbeiten
Apr 22 2011 13:02

Also, on the being critical of your role in it. I understand what you mean, being complicit, but I don't see a way around it unless you move out of London/Berlin/New York or where ever else it is going on.

Harrison
Apr 22 2011 13:30

fucking Tescos, everyone hates them, they destroy all those nice community integrated shops and take cash flow out of the area

on balance though, they have developed some great supply line systems that we could expropriate during the revolution laugh out loud

shug
Apr 22 2011 13:38

Devrim, assuming your 'what's wrong with Tesco' question was a real one, this sort of argument explains why they're so hated :
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tescopoly-How-Shop-Came-Matters/dp/1845295110/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1303479009&sr=1-1
And that's without getting started on that well known cnut Dame Shirley Fucking-Porter who's the Tesco heir.

Ellar
Apr 22 2011 13:44

Does this really qualify as a riot? not many vids and pics are around so I find it hard to judge the extent of the unrest.

Mike Harman
Apr 22 2011 13:49
Arbeiten wrote:
I hear through the grapevine that Hackney have turned a blind eye to loads of people (young bohemian artists, students) who don't pay council tax because they know its the beginning of the gentrification process. The mentality i was more referring to was not the local council/urban planners etc, etc, but the actual Yups who move in, 'oh brighton lanes its really groooOOOOooovy down there, lets move there and increase the land rent'. I wonder how the current economic climate is going to affect this process....

I don't know much about Brighton (even less about Bristol), but in Hackney there is a mixture of areas which were gentrified early on (mainly the south west around Hoxton/Shoreditch and Stoke Newington) - which definitely started with 'organic' gentrification. The Vortex in Stoke Newington and the Foundry (and original Blue Note in Hoxton square which happens to be the first nightclub I ever went to aged 14 tongue) in Old Street are both very early arrivals that led to the gentrification of those areas that then got forced out later. This all happened early '90s and afaik was unplanned.

I moved to Hackney almost ten years ago, it was still one of the cheapest places to live in London, yet there was also an underground music scene in several venues around there, lots of squats etc. but not much in the way of housing developments, posh pubs etc.

It was not really yuppified at that point, especially not where I lived (most of the time about 200 metres off 'murder mile' which was the least-gentrified bit of the borough). However it was a lot more interesting than similarly priced areas like Charlton - where I stayed at a mates house once and it took us nearly an hour to find food in the morning 'cos there was only about one shop every three square miles.

I'm not sure about a conscious policy of turning a blind eye, but definitely not much in the way of resources going into chasing council tax etc. (which is obviously a good thing if you don't get deported). Several of my mates were significantly more at risk from prosecution than not paying council tax - one arrived from Poland in the back of a van, and couldn't risk leaving the UK until it joined the EU. Most others who were 'illegal immigrants' came on student visas and outstayed or just never attended English schools in the first place. All the people I'm thinking of were also 'arty/squatter types'. I don't think anyone actually ran into trouble.

By the time it got to 2004/5-ish, you start getting organic/craft markets, by 2007/8 even Clapton started getting expensive cafes, delis and new housing developments that no-one living in the other housing around there would have been able to afford to live in.

There is a nearly unbroken line of gentrification from Brick Lane, up to Columbia Road flower market, then Broadway Market, London Fields, then Mare Street (south of Mare street has the Vietnamese restaurants and new library), then eastwards along the top of Victoria Park (which has a lot of large old houses). West of Dalston you have De Beavoir and Islington. Then there were 'gentrification black spots' more or less anywhere east of Stoke Newington High Road and north of Graham Road/Mare Street - but these got broken down about 5-6 years ago. It's a couple of years since I lived there so I don't know how much this is continuing to get worse, or has stalled since the recession started.

In terms of yuppies saying it's 'groooovy', I wouldn't consider myself or anyone else who I know from around there in that group, so I don't know exactly what brings them to places like this. However when we had a kid, we absolutely could not afford to rent anywhere in Hackney (even Clapton) and had to move out to the even less gentrified areas of Leyton and Walthamstow. Some of my other friends from Hackney also ended up moving out to there - so you can almost see the waves of gentrification happening within the space of 5-10 years.

The same way I and others started getting priced out of Hackney, similarly the proper yuppies are getting priced out of places like Islington and Camden by financial services workers etc. - who are going to be buying (and buying to let) - and driving up prices to the point where 'normal' professionals can't hack it any more. Also once you get out past Leyton or Walthamstow, it starts getting expensive again (Redbridge etc.) - so there is a belt around London where you're pretty much restricted unless you move all the way out to Romford or somewhere like that.

How much this applies to smaller places like Brighton and Brixton I don't know though, and definitely there is a much more concious process the past ten years than there was the previous 2-3 decades.

Mike Harman
Apr 22 2011 13:53
Ellar wrote:
Does this really qualify as a riot? not many vids and pics are around so I find it hard to judge the extent of the unrest.

It seems like a very small riot, but there was a #baitvan, the police were apparently forced out of the area and had to regroup, reinforcements brought in from South Wales oetc., and the Tesco got smashed - with just that amount of information that seems not to inaccurate to me. Without the Tesco angle it would have more or less just been resisting the eviction though - so it is definitely being spun as a riot rather than the slightly more complex thing that it is.