Statement from the two Brighton squatters aquitted of s144 charges


Statement At Adjournment of the Trial

Today the squatting trial in Brighton was adjourned until the 24th May as it ran out of time due to extreme faffing.

Two squatters had already had the case against them thrown out of court when the magistrates realised the prosecution hadn’t actually presented any evidence that they lived in the building. And the case against the third squatter looks pretty flimsy.

Toby, one of the freed defendants, said:

“It’s proved to be ridiculous – it’s not even that we were found ‘not guilty’, but that there was absolutely no case to answer. The advice to squatters from this is don’t plead guilty. Presence in a building is not enough, they have to prove with documentary evidence that you actually live there.”

The two acquitted defendants released the following statement:

So far this case shows how ridiculous the new anti-squatting law is. It was badly researched and rushed through parliament based on a hysterical and inaccurate media stereotype. Even the government’s own consultation found that only a few rich landlords saw a need for this law.

Squatting gives people, who don’t have the huge amount of money required to buy their own house, a way of taking control of their living situations without having to go cap in hand to charities, the government or their employer.

In this case we have seen how a security company can use the police and public money as their own private bailiffs. This new law therefore enables the police to arrest and harass people who were simply IN an empty building.

Its better to squat the lot than let homes rot!

To keep up to date with the trial follow @housingwar on twitter.

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