Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Black Cat's Portfolio of Unnecessary Evictions

Regrettably, the current incarnation of the Black Cat Centre was evicted on the morning of Monday the 29th March, between 7.45 and 10:30am. Although resistance was strong on the Friday (huge thanks to everyone who helped out, in any capacity, and also those who turned up for the awesome dub reggae roots leaving party on the Saturday night, courtesy of the life-saving Dub Revolution crew - one love), two B&NES Legal Services personnel, two bailiff officers, around eight to ten burly bailiff grunts, two/three cars of cops, and a van in reserve of TSG cops were present, and it was all the Black Cat kitties could do to get someone to lock down up on the roof. The stunty cherry picker that B&NES brought along with them wasn't tall enough to dislodge our rooftop comrade though (apparently, sometimes size is everything), so the five minutes they originally had to clear out was soon negotiated up to just under an hour; so all tat was rescued, and there were no arrests. Let's call this one a draw.

So whilst Beat Manager Adrian "You won't have a community social space round here if I have anything to do with it" Secker was posing for funny photos near the graffiti claiming "this squat endorsed by Adrian Secker", and bailiffs stalked around bedrooms with sledge hammers, the B&NES Council charm offensive was out in full force, with their press release to the Bath Chronicle claiming that they had tried to help out and offered Black Cat a lease, which was declined (if anything, the opposite was true).

According to one bailiff's estimate, the unelected and undemocratic B&NES Property and Legal Service's single-minded and ridiculous clinging to the notion of heavy-handed eviction, rather than compromise and co-operation, has now charged Bath taxpayers to the tune of £30,000. For the Black Cat Centre collective, they are taking a hard-earned hiatus for a week or so, but will be back - so keep a keen eye here for updates, and apologies for this brief discontinuity in our service.