Forums > Social Chat > A-Spire party raid - witnesses needed

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Cantus
Cantus

Tantamount to fatuity
Location: Down the road
Member Since: 30th Jul 2001
Total posts: 15965
Posted:This happened a few days ago in Leeds, West Yorkshire UK

quote:>A-Spire Press Release Appeals for Witness Statements

On Sunday 24th November at about 3.15am as many as 100 police officers raided the Aspire Building at Buckingham House, Otley road. The raid was undertaken without any warning and was obviously planned well in advance as indicated by the number of officers involved. In order to gain entry, police used a battering ram on the doors and indiscriminately used pepper spray and threw CS gas canisters inside a building which contained a large number of party goers.

Fortunately no one was injured in the ensuing panic, thanks mainly to the safety procedures put in place by the organisers. Many witnesses report unprovoked brutal violence by the police. No official reason was given for the raid and no warrant was served.

20 people were arrested for public order offences. 16 were released without charge and the remaining four have been charged with affray. It is our opinion, based on witness statements that the circumstances of these arrests are highly questionable.

The building was previously empty and has been squatted. It is being used as a social centre whilst providing a home for a dozen or so homeless people.

The centre has been operating for two weeks offering a wide range of workshops including womens self defence, horticulture, theatre skills, puppet making. It has hosted talks and film shows on environmental issues, human rights and international issues such as Argentina and Palestine.

It also features a vegan caf a childrens area, an indoor skate ramp and a performance space.

All of this is run by a non-hierarchical collective of volunteers from the local community and all paid for purely from donations.

The social centre has been very popular with hundreds of people taking part in the various activities on a daily basis thus confirming the need for this form of self organised free space and drawing attention to the amount of empty unused property that could be put to much better use.

The Aspire Collective is planning to leave the building on Tuesday 26th November, as agreed by the building owners.

The party was a culmination of several weeks of hard work by all concerned and featured a degree of organisation and concern for the comfort and safety of those attending that would put most city centre nightclubs to shame. There was no trouble at the event and we had received no complaints about noise or disturbance.

Bearing these facts in mind, we find it very difficult to understand the reasons behind the police action. It needlessly endangered hundreds of people who were committing no crime and causing no disturbance in an illegal act of gross irresponsibility. We should also like to stress that squatting is a civil rather than a criminal matter and the case was already being dealt with by the courts.

We would also like to express our amazement that the police felt it necessary to imply so many officers, some drafted in from other towns, to conduct such a large scale operation with no obvious purpose other than to illicit fear and violence on innocent people.

We suspect that the police will claim they were responding to an incident however the numbers of officers involved and their level of co-ordination clearly indicates that this was planned well in advance.Any witnesses, well wishers, supporters etc should contact info@a-spire.org.uk or info@leedsef.org.uk ASAP

Your anonymity is guaranteed.

Ok thanx for reading this far.

[ 29. November 2002, 16:01: Message edited by: C@ntus ]


"I'll carry this....It's harder to spill a hat" - Chellybean
"...like a rabbit caught in a lighthouse?" - Chellybean

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Cantus
Cantus

Tantamount to fatuity
Location: Down the road
Member Since: 30th Jul 2001
Total posts: 15965
Posted:By the way, I know of at least 2 HoP regulars who were there. One of whom is a former Mod.

Which kind of brings it home a bit methinks.


"I'll carry this....It's harder to spill a hat" - Chellybean
"...like a rabbit caught in a lighthouse?" - Chellybean

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flash fire
flash fire

Sporadically Prodigal
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Member Since: 25th Jan 2001
Total posts: 2758
Posted:Yeah - I heard about that one from Josh too, scary shit! Have you forwarded him and Katinca that email addy?

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Cantus
Cantus

Tantamount to fatuity
Location: Down the road
Member Since: 30th Jul 2001
Total posts: 15965
Posted:Yep. did that first.

"I'll carry this....It's harder to spill a hat" - Chellybean
"...like a rabbit caught in a lighthouse?" - Chellybean

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Rozi
100 characters max...
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Member Since: 11th Jan 2002
Total posts: 2996
Posted:Has any reason been given for the raid as yet?

It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

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Cantus
Cantus

Tantamount to fatuity
Location: Down the road
Member Since: 30th Jul 2001
Total posts: 15965
Posted:Public disturbance.

But that was in a police statement given to the police at least 4 hours after the raid.


"I'll carry this....It's harder to spill a hat" - Chellybean
"...like a rabbit caught in a lighthouse?" - Chellybean

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SickpuPpy
SickpuPpy

Ninja Rockstar!
Location: Denver, Co. U.S.A.
Member Since: 27th Nov 2001
Total posts: 1100
Posted:While obviously the UK isn't a constitutional republic like the US I have wonderd for some time if you Brithish have anything like a basic bill of rights. You know, something to prevent police brutality, unusual punishment, unlawful dentention, things like that. Because if something like that happend where I live, not only would it be a top news story, the ALCU would be all over that shit, and the law suits would be a flying. People tend to make a lot of noise about police brutality over here, and mainly, I think, becuase of the constitiution and the basic rights it gaurantees us.

And Cops brutalizing kids at parties, and raves seems to be becoming a common practice in the UK. It makes me rather worried about a few of the friends I have over there.

[ 30. November 2002, 08:08: Message edited by: SickpuPpy ]


Jesus helps me trick people.

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MTM Monster
MTM Monster

Moat monster
Location: someplace murky
Member Since: 21st Jun 2002
Total posts: 208
Posted:Scary stuff

A good deal of growr, some grr and quite a bit of snarl, spit and some biting. just a regular day at the office.

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