Violent scenes erupted in central Brixton today as dozens of bailiffs moved in to forcibly evict squatters from their homes in Rushcroft Road.
Up to 75 people removed from six blocks of flats. The video below captures the moment outside Clarence House when about 20 bailiffs cleared protestors to get access to the mansion block.
Earlier on this morning some people set fire to wheelie bins in protest at the evictions which Lambeth council say are necessary to clear the “unlawful” tenants. Police lines prevented protestors from getting near to flats being cleared.
Warning: videos contain strong language
Police have said one man was arrested for assault and criminal damage.
Commenting on Brixton Blog earlier, Celyn said the actions were “shocking”:
“A letter a few weeks ago suggesting eviction proceedings would begin from today. NO warrants or eviction notices have been given, and many of the residents, with life long medical conditions, have had virtually no help with being re-housed.”
One resident, Peter Piotrkowski, told the Evening Standard: “I was moving slowly because I can’t run and they pushed me twice. I’m going to be homeless now. I’m on benefits, £72 a week. I can’t find any place for that money and I need to keep some money for food.”
Protestors chanted scum and remonstrated with police as bailiffs smashed windows and doors of some of the victorian mansion blocks. The action marks the end of a two year battle by Lambeth council to clear the buildings before selling them off, partly for luxury apartments and 22 units for “affordable” housing.
Lambeth council said today: “We are taking action this week because it is unfair on the thousands of residents in need of housing in Lambeth that a small minority have been unlawfully squatting in six mansion blocks on Rushcroft Road, Brixton, and not paying any rent or council tax.
“Following the eviction of the unauthorised occupants, three of the six blocks in Rushcroft Road will be sold to bring the remaining three blocks back into use as 22 new homes for social rent. This is one example of our work to deliver better homes for Lambeth residents.
A spokesman added that the authority has been in “regular dialogue” with residents, and had offered support throughout the process.