link: Hackney Gazette
Some pretty upsetting news has been reported of a suspected arson attack at an old Salvation Army hostel, believed to be used as a squat in Lower Clapton, Hackney. So far one person has reportedly died and another is seriously injured.
Housing Solidarity was an idea that came out of the squatting community in London, so this is very close to home. So far we only have news of this from the internet, but if anyone does know anyone affected then we’d like to offer whatever support we can.
Squatters are often subject to abuse and demonisation, which recently crystallised into a concerted campaign revolving around a group of Tory MPs including Mike Weatherly and newspapers such as the Evening Standard. This campaign of demonisation was the backdrop to the legislation which passed through parliament recently criminalising squatting in residential properties.
Whether or not this was a factor in this situation, it acts as a reminder of the damage that such processes cause. These are just a few thoughts and we don’t know the situation yet, and would love to know more. If you know anything, especially if there are things people can do to help, please email firstname.lastname@example.org