They are keen to talk to people involved in squatting in Bristol and especially anyone involved in squatting Base. If you want to chat to them come along. Their research is on squatting in Bristol 1940’s to present day.
So much of what we love about Bristol was made possible by squatting. Bristolians have taken over buildings and public spaces for housing, protest, art, gigs, raves, libraries, food and laughter from Leigh Woods to Easton. We’ve squatted in the aftermath of the Second World War, during the Miners’ Strike and in response to 21st Century austerity. But the memory of squatted spaces is all too easily lost to eviction and criminalisation.
This projects seeks to map when, where and why us and our neighbours have squatted in Bristol. By mapping the impact of squatting on the city we hope to claim the tactic the space it deserves in the city’s history and ask what the role is for squatting in Bristol today.
We’re starting by interviewing people who have squatted in Bristol to pull together a map of formerly squatted spaces. We’ll use that to start developing ways to tell the story squatting in Bristol in the 20th and 21st Century and running workshops on the future for squatting in the city.
Have you been involved in squatting in Bristol? Whether you’ve attended squat parties, squatted for housing or supported people squatting on your street, we’d love to interview you. For the foreseeable future interviews will be over Zoom or telephone. You can remain anonymous and you will have control over what we record and what we don’t. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you interested in helping run the project? We’re particularly interested in this being an intergenerational project where younger Bristolians who haven’t squatted in the city get to know older generations who have. All skills and none are useful, but we’d be particularly keen to hear from people who know how to record audio and video, archive, interview and organise events. Get in touch via email@example.com.
We want to host community discussions on housing in East Bristol. These discussions will involve walks to key sights of interest (Chocolate Factory Redevelopment, Rosemary Green Workhouse Memorial, Greenbank Cemetery). We’re keen to invite anyone interested, but particularly those who have experienced housing crisis or homelessness. After walks we will also host a free lunch, at BASE contact Pieter, details below….
Throughout history and the the world there have been individuals and groups who through various differing situations becomes personified and held as Martyrs. This will be a seminar that will explore the culture and political significance of martyrdom in revolutionary sense. and where we can also share our own thoughts, feelings and experiences on how we approach martryrdom.
**UPDATE: There have now been more than 60 arrestees from #KillTheBill protests in Bristol. Just before Christmas, Ryan Roberts was jailed for 14 years for his part in the demonstration. The state is coming down hard on everyone who took to the streets that night – and this January, Bristol Defendant Solidarity will be back in court to help people fight a fresh round of cases.
So far, 13 people have been sentenced to a total of over 49 years in prison. From the end of January to end of August 2022, we already have 26 riot trials set for Bristol Crown Court, with more to come. We urgently need your help to support them. We’ll be closing this crowdfunder on 4 February, and this is our last chance to find the money we need to support people as they face the legal system. If you can, please donate and share today to help us reach our stretch goal of £30,000 so we keep supporting people through the court process.**
People in Bristol standing up to unprecedented new police powers have faced immense police violence since Sunday March 21st. The last week has seen police charging crowds with horses, releasing attack dogs on protesters, pepper-spraying people indiscriminately and physically attacking journalists. Those arrested will face harsh charges as the state seeks to make an example of them.
We believe that no one taking part in protests for social justice should face the system alone. If you do too, please donate.
Defend resistance to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.
The people arrested following recent demonstrations in Bristol against the much opposed Police Bill need our support.
We know the state will want to make examples of them.
As a grassroots voluntary group that has been supporting arrestees for over a decade, we have seen up close the damage a trial can do, regardless of the outcome. Particularly to people who have less privilege than those judging them.
Aspects of the protest on Sunday 21st March received immediate local, national, and international media coverage and political responses. The Mayor of Bristol has proclaimed everyone was “intent” on confrontation from the start. The police have branded demonstrators “a mob of animals”. Meanwhile some people have rushed to express “complete confidence in the approach taken by Avon & Somerset Police” – while the work of groups such as Bristol Copwatch shows that the approach taken by Avon & Somerset Police is racist and disproportionate year-round.
The heavy bias of reporting, depicting protesters as the initiators of violence, rather than the victims of violence, makes it unlikely that anyone accused of attending the protest on Sunday 21st March will get a fair trial. While even the most blatant sex-offenders are named “allegedly” until proven guilty, those arrested have had no such treatment. It is unrealistic to expect a jury will have missed these very public comments. It will influence the judgement in any trial.
History shows us that fundamental social change requires a diversity of tactics. We believe that no one taking part in moments of resistance should face the system alone. If you do too, please donate.
With cuts to legal aid, those in full time work will need support with lawyers’ fees. For those without that security, the trial risks limiting their capacity to find work.
We are aiming to raise £15,000 for people arrested following Bristol demonstrations against the government’s new legislation. Depending on need, and in this priority order, we will use this fund to support those arrested in connection with the Kill the Bill protests by:
Supplying money for legal fees not covered by legal aid. Paying any travel costs to court. Covering loss of earnings sustained as a result of attending court. Supporting legal cases made against the police. Helping pay rent to ensure defendants can return to their homes after any custodial sentences.