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Local community centre to be evicted

OCSET | 29.04.2004 13:25 | Free Spaces | Repression | Oxford

OCSET has been running many community workshops, events, cafes, gardening and kids spaces for the last 4 weeks.

artist's sketch
artist's sketch

The squatters who are occupying 220 Cowley Road and have turned it into a social centre failed today in their plea to be allowed to stay for a further two months. The County Court awarded an immediate repossession order to the owner, Mr Kandola, who was represented by a legal team.
The squatters were represented by one of their number, Rob Nash, and relied on the human right to housing – which is rarely successful against private landlords and was dismissed quickly. A supporter, Mary Hunter, who attended the trial said: “The Judge was interested in our case and partly understood but he said right there that he isn’t allowed to do the right thing because it’s against the law.”
They then appealed to Mr Kandola to allow them to stay until the next tenant was ready to move the builders in and to see them as preferable to what may happen to the building were they not there. Speaking after court, Rob Nash commented: “The landlord wasn’t interested in speaking to us, or making a sensible agreement. When I suggested that we move out on our own and save them the cost of bailiffs, their lawyer laughed and said ‘what is a week’s rent worth?’ They won 250 court costs against me, plus VAT. And that was after reducing it because I have no money. The fear of court costs keeps lots of ordinary people from being able to stand up and defend ourselves in court.”

The group calling themselves OCSET say the project is not dead and will pop up somewhere else soon.



Hide the following 2 comments

OCSET wake on Thursday

29.04.2004 15:46

By the way, I hear there is a wake for OCSET at the building tonight. It starts at about 10 and the Mishmash sound system will be there and playing reggae. I suppose it's really only the death of the first phase, though, because OCSET lives on and there will be a new social centre soon. We need one, so here we are having one.

Paul Spencer


01.05.2004 21:31

The bailiffs won't come before Tuesday (due to the bank holiday), and we will have 48 hours notice from whenever they do come... so OCSET will exist in its current form until at least Thursday.

Watch this space :)