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Justice Not Crisis evicted from Beechwood Hotel, Birmingham

onlooker | 24.04.2009 13:52 | Free Spaces | Social Struggles | Birmingham

After a half-hearted attempt earlier in the week, bailiffs and police returned to the Beechwood Hotel in force this morning at 6.30 am to evict 'Justice Not Crisis' supporters and homeless people being housed by the campaign. There are reports of dogs and riot gear being used, as well as assaults on some of the inhabitants. Pictures from the Birmingham Mail also show 'Evidence Gathering Teams' in attendance. No arrests were made.

The Justice Not Crisis campaign 'highlights injustices [in social housing] and campaigns to put them right' and has occupied several premises since late last year as part of its campaign. Local media (including 'The Stirrer' and Birmingham Mail) appear to be parroting the police line that the eviction was 'peaceful' and they were only there in a 'supporting role' to deal with 'breaches of public order', despite evidence to the contrary that were actively involved in the eviction itself. The campaign continues to occupy properties owned by Warwickshire County Cricket Club on Pershore Road, although attempts at eviction are expected at these properties soon.

Post on Justice Not Crisis blog:
"The Beechwood Hotel was stormed at 6:30am this morning by bailiffs and riot police, immediately prior to smashing the rear doors bailiffs had climbed onto the roof to prevent demonstrators occupying the space. Police dogs handlers entered the building as a line of Police prevented people re-entering the building.

Details are vague at present but it is apparent the police officers with riot shields had occupied the building prior to the bailiffs formally evicting the occupants.

One girl was pushed down the stairs by a police officer who barged his riot shield against her. Further reports of police officers kicking bedroom doors open are also being told.

A full update will appear on this site later today. JNC are currently speaking to legal advisers to ascertain whether the police action will be subject to a complaint. Our understanding is that the police officers are there to prevent a breach of the peace.

It appears that this was not their role today but as assistant bailiffs. The Inspector in charge of the operation would not even let people collect food from within the hotel, they did however allow personal items to be collected (Our thanks to Sgt Richards)

An officer from Birmingham City Councils homeless team arrived soon after and offered to get taxis for the homeless. They were taken from the scene to Northfield neighbourhood office to be assessed. The homeless officer was extremely helpful but didn’t give much hope when he said “BCC only use 4 hostels and they are all full” The Beechwood hotel was formally one of the buildings BCC referred homeless people to.

The Neighbourhood Office team have visited all of our homeless people and facilitated taxi transfers to Northfield for assesments. We are confident that our 4 most vulnerable people will be assisted including a 16 yr old girl who had lived with us at the Beechwood for just over a week. It is true to say that the Birmingham City Council Officers from Northfield have gone over and above the call of duty and we are extremeley grateful to them for their assistance.
We continue to hold 318 Pershore Road."

Other articles:

JNC squat resists double eviction:

CALL OUT: Resist the bailiffs at Justice Not Crisis squat:

JNC open new squat. Gardeners required:

JNC squatters fight illegal eviction attempt by cricket club:

Justice Not Crisis Homelessness Demonstration:

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