Yesterday two officers from the Southwark Council came to talk with us. They were sent to try and convince us to leave and end this occupation peacefully, their reasons being that the court hearing was now due to take place, and they didn’t want a repeat of the violence of last Tuesday.
The implication that our choice to stay is the reason for the violence enacted upon our supporters during the eviction would be laughable, if it were not so insulting to both us and the people who were physically assaulted by police in the defence of this occupation. Southwark Council have always been free to treat this as a Civil matter, by obtaining a Possession Order in a county court. However they have chosen to apply, twice now, for an Interim Possession Order, requiring the police to treat this as a criminal matter, resulting in the events of the night of the 17th of February.
What is laughable is the idea that we would leave this protest site voluntarily. We are occupying this building as an effective method of expressing our message to the council to respect the wishes of the tenants at the Aylesbury Estate and stop the demolition and start the refurbishment. Until they start doing their job of serving the people of their borough, we will remain. They know they could end this peacefully, but they won’t. And if they bring 100 riot police, 200, or 300, so be it. But Southwark Council and their agents are solely to blame for any and all violence that has been or is to come.