Police officers on duty outside squatted former Joy Brixton store in Coldharbour Lane

photo 4Police officers are on duty outside a shop in Brixton that has been squatted since Friday.

Two officers appeared to preventing two people entering the former Joy store at 432 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, this afternoon.

The shop, and offices above, have been occupied since Friday morning by the House of Brag group, and has been renamed the London Queer Social Centre.

photo 1A poster in the window says the centre will open tomorrow as a “space for LGBTQ people and our friends, allies and fellow Brixton activists.”

It goes on to promise: “ten days of free workshops, parties, food, films, music, resistance.”

The fashion chain Joy moved out of the building in January to make way for a new £4.5million Holiday Inn hotel.

Brixton Blog saw a group of squatters taking over the building at 6.30am on Friday morning, and signs have been put up on windows and doors.

A post on the House of Brag website said: “Radical politics and community organising in Brixton isn’t just a thing of the past.

“Several people involved with Brag this year have lived and worked and partied and done art and activism in Brixton in recent years. We’re also excited to get involved and show solidarity with stuff happening here right now like Housing Action Southwark & Lambeth, the campaign to Save Brixton College, Black Activists Rising Against Cuts, the Ritzy Cinema workers’ strike for the living wage, anti-gentrification activists, fellow squatters and queers and queer squatter.”


photo 3


  1. I think the truth in the sentiment here is told by the insulting way that WakeUp treats comments from other people. This person shows no respect for other peoples opinions and is therefore a bigot and with this attitude has lost all credibility and legitimacy for their cause.

  2. It’s well-informed that people think they have the right to squat empty non-residential buildings. It beggars belief that the police are harrassing this legal activity on a series of spurious grounds.

    • This is true – but only if they don’t break in to gain entry. Perhaps if the organisers hadn’t mentioned “breaking and entering” so blazenly on their website, the police might not have had to get involved.

      • programme says BAKING and entering not breaking and entering, also the cops are harassing them with concerns about raves not about how they got in, AND they went in through windows that have been flapping open since january anyway


      • I love puns! So why the baking & entering pun? Why not ‘windows that have been flapping open since january and entering’ then?

      • pun1
        a joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word or the fact that there are words which sound alike but have different meanings.

      • Thanks for that. I wasn’t asking what a pun is though! I was wondering- why have a pun about breaking and entering/baking and entering on a site about legal squatting? That’s all.

  3. Perhaps it should be the law that you make use of commercial premises not leave them empty to sully an area. If not, being utitised why not let people use the empty space? It’s not residential, it’s owned by a large landowner, allegedly, it’s a nice bit of history to add to their forthcoming hotel…

    Ultimately i love knowing there is a radical heart still alive in London and it’s best town ,Brixton.

  4. Listen if homeless people squat empty buildings then its their right to take shelter! And the reason we dont get arrested is because we are a little bit smarter than your stereotypes lead you to believe SO GO FUCK YOURSELF YA MUPET!!!!!

  5. Oh the irony! They associate themselves with legitimate law abiding causes yet they themselves use illegal methods.
    Outraged council tax payers unite.

  6. It’s disgusting that people think they have the right to break into private property. It beggars belief that they’re not arrested. Wouldn’t be surprised to find out that they come from rich families and go back to their mansions in Dulwich when they get bored!

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