At 6am this morning ( 26/08/11) Well Furnished was broken into by about 20 High Court Bailiffs with dogs. They also had support from Police Officers. We were completely unprepared for this. We were told by the court that we had eviction dates for 7th and 24th September.
The baliffs were not too bad and let us recover some of our stuff. However at one point they forced two of the Well Furnished crew through the gate and physically assaulted both of them. The police were unconcerned about the physical harm inflicted on us by the bailiffs.This was despite the fact we put up no resistance and were polite and civil, as we believe we have been throughout our time at Well Furnished since the end of April.
We think it is a very sad state of affairs that the property agents Lamberts and St John Hackney Joint Charities Trust have decided to spend charity money on a very costly eviction process.
The Trust claim they don’t have enough money to renovate their properties, are making their existing tenants responsible for repairs and increasing the rents by up to 300%.
Well Furnished is not the only empty property on Well St and Terrace Rd, half of the Trust’s properties are empty. This is a blight on the street, damaging for existing tenants businesses and a gross injustice for the people of Hackney who are supposed to be benefiting from the income made by renting out properties.
You can find out more about this on the Save Well Street Market Website,
We have always wanted to use the empty properties, Well Furnished and This and That for the benefit for the community as a whole. From the outset we have reached out to our neighbours and many of them have welcomed us, recognising that we have worked tirelessly to make the empty space beautiful and a asset for the community.
We have always tried to contact Lamberts, The Church Trust, The Vicar and Geoff Taylor (local councilor and chairman of the Trust), however they have never answered any of emails or phone calls.
If you liked what we were doing at Well Furnished and feel that Lamberts could have handled this differently, please let them know.
After a bit more than 3 full on months of activity, the Offmarket squatted social centre on 121 Lower Clapton road was evicted by Bailiffs, police and owners on Thursday 7th July 2011.
The second Offmarket space was opened last April. We had a visit from the owners only 12 hours after moving in. Our first contact was pretty horrible, as all the other times we had to deal with them, ranging from “you scum of the earth” to “you should all be gassed to death”… lovely innit?
Still, in the few months we got out of the space we managed to do some amazing things. Tons of workshops and regular activities, resources that allowed dozens of people to start their own squats, a hugely successful freeshop that ended up being run mostly by locals…
The court case started early and after few postponings, the owners finally got their possession order and they decided to enforce it last thursday. Some of the bailiffs heavies managed to get inside the space early on in the morning but got kicked out. Some more arrived and they finally managed to break it after some efforts. Few people came to support, which was nice given the short notice. WellFurnished crew was very supportive and helpful as well, thanks for the solidarity!
The Offmarket collective will very probably take a well deserved break but will be back soon for a new space! check this space
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to the OffMarket newsletter, coming to you from our fabulous venue at 121 Lower Clapton Road, E5 0NP.
# CALLOUTS #
– Someone is looking to start up a percussion skillshare sometime soon.. this would be djembe / hand drums – if you’re interested in coming along then get in contact.
– French conversation is on hold until we find more French speakers willing to speak with people and help them learn. If you are up for this and free on Sunday evenings please email us.
– We need more people who are willing and able to help others speak English, if you are then come along any Sunday between 6 and 8pm
– More hands are needed to organise the fortnightly cafes.. if you can help cook, clean, wash-up or serve food to people come along fortnightly on Fridays at 2pm from Friday 20th May
# WISH LIST #
We could really do with
– a hoover ( we actually really need one!!)
– gloss paint to paint our lovely shop front
Also, regular stuff that we need:
– soap / cleaning products
– soya milk
– toilet roll
– selotape / gaffa tape / blue tac / glue
– ink cartridges for printer
– bike stuff
Our opening days are: Sunday 12-6pm, Monday 12-6pm, Tuesday 12-8pm. During opening hours you can browse our freeshop with clothes, toys, books etc, but also check out our growing info library, learn more about squatting or just have a cup of tea.
If you are able to give a helping hand at all please pop by when you can or call us on 077 0627 9299. This is a collective project that always needs more people ; whether it’s sorting the freeshop, building shelves or watering the plants, come get involved!
Open meetings are on Mondays at 7pm.
Action groups meet at the following times:
Gardening : going on a break.. back Tuesday 31st May @ 10am
Bike workshop : Tuesdays 3-6pm
Practical Squatters : 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month 4-6pm
Library : Thursdays 2pm
Zine : Tuesday 17th May @ 2pm
Cafe : Fortnight from Friday 20th May @ 2pm
///// FUTURE EVENTS ////////
## QUEER FILM NIGHT / Friday 13th May 7pm ##
Door open from 7pm, films from 8pm. Entirely free of charge. This is first in what we hope will be a series of monthly queer film nights at OffMarket. Tonight we will be screening a collection of short movies, in the future we hope to show both short and feature length films on a variety of subjects, all queer and all fabulous in different ways. After the films there will be an opportunity to talk together about what we have watched, as well as what we might like to watch in future, for those who want to. Those who prefer to lounge on our sofas, socialise, check out our freeshop, flirt shamelessly, or otherwise hang out in the space are also welcome to do that! OffMarket is an alcohol and smoke free space, drinks and snacks will be available (feel free to bring some to share if you fancy). See you there!
## CAFE, FILM & SPOKEN WORD / Friday 20th May 6pm ##
Fortnightly cafe, yummy vegan food on donation and we will watch an episode of “Survivors”, an awesome BBC TV series from the 70s, about life in the UK after a major virus plague killed most of the humans on earth!
This week we will also be having some Spoken Word performances, performers to be announced soon. Come along from 2pm to help cook & prepare, 6pm for food, 7pm for Survivors screening and 8pm for spoken word.
## THEATRE WORKSHOPS / Wednesday 1st June 6-8pm ##
For five weeks there will be theatre workshops taking place on Wednesday evenings, with a different focus each week. We would like to have people commit to come for all of the sessions. Email us if you would can only come to some or have any questions. More info see there
## CREATIVE WRITING CIRCLE / Thursday 2nd June 7-9pm ##
We are a group of people who meet regularly to share our creative writing – all forms, all flavours, all levels – for comment, critique, motivation and inspiration. The group is open to anyone who wants to write, from beginners to advanced writers.
## NELSN SOCIAL / Saturday 4th June 7pm ##
Squatters from North East London getting together, socialising, supporting each other and sharing food!
## SEWING WORKSHOP / Saturday 18th June 2-5pm ##
Get help sewing & fixing your clothes
/////// REGULAR ACTIVITIES /////////
All our activities are free
++ MONDAY, 10-12noon ++
Self Defense Skillshare: Have some tips for self defence or want to learn? Come along to this weekly skill share! Open to all ages, genders and abilities
++ MONDAY, 7pm ++
Open Meeting : see the space, propose an event, get involved.
++ TUESDAY, 3-6pm ++
Bike fixing workshop
++ FIRST AND THIRD TUESDAY of the month, 7-8pm ++
Practical Squatting Evening.Meet other people to squat with, get practical advice on squatting, and much more!
++ WEDNESDAY, 8-10.30pm ++
++ THURSDAY, 10:30-13:30 ++
Alternative therapies: Indian Head Massage, Reflexology, Reiki, Auricular Acupuncture, Nutritional Advice, Relaxation/Visualization Techniques. If you are coming for the first time please try to be there by 10.30am, after that you can make an appointment. If you have any questions contact us.
++ THURSDAY, 2pm-5.30pm ++
Free Writing and Spoken English Assistance: Free proofreading drop-in session and assistance with spelling, grammar, and punctuation; for any document, including essays, articles and applications up to post-graduate level. Time will be evenly distributed between those who require assistance. NB. Please come with prepared material to edit. You are also welcome to attend if you wish to learn or improve on your spoken English. Please get in touch if you could help with the above.
++ EVERY OTHER FRIDAY, 6-11pm ++
Offmarket Cafe: First will be Friday 6th May. Fortnightly cafe, yummy vegan food on donation and we will watch an episode of “Survivors”, an awesome BBC TV series from the 70s, about life in the UK after a major virus plague killed most of the humans on earth!
++ SUNDAY, 6-8pm ++
English Conversation session: if you are interested in learning to speak English or willing to help others learn please come along to this weekly session!
++ SUNDAY, 7.30-9pm ++
Life drawing sessions.
077 0627 9299 http://london.indymedia.org/groups/offmarket
## KARAOKE SOUP @ LARC / Sunday 29th May ##
This is not happening at OffMarket but will be raising money for the space.
Karaoke soup is an evening combining your two favourite things in to one evening of joy, bringing you karaoke and soup to raise funds for different projects each month.
London Action Resource Centre (LARC)
62 Fieldgate st, E1 1ES
ACCESSIBILITY: there is a smal step at the front. The event will happen on the ground floor, and there is a wheelchair accessible toilet.