Stokes Croft Freeshop Eviction

7th July 2011

The popular squatted Freeshop and attached Emporium Gallery on Stokes Croft were evicted this morning. Bailiffs entered the building with sledgehammers at around 6am, surprising the occupants, and had managed to secure the building before support arrived.

One occupant was arrested inside the building. The rest were allowed to leave with a single personal bag each. Bailiffs, with the full support of the police, then refused to fetch a bag containing vital documents for an occupant who had been out at the time. One supporter was arrested for holding up a banner outside, and the banner was confiscated. The arrestee was manhandled by an unbadged steward from Delta Security, and people attempting to help or advise were threatened with batons and pushed into the road. Police also prevented a passing traffic warden from ticketing the illegally-parked Sitex vehicles nearby.

The building has now been fully evicted, but the project will continue in a new space, and plans to buy the building may still go ahead. Both arrestees have been taken to Trinity Station, and we've made sure they have access to solicitors. Parties directly involved in the eviction seem to be the local County Court Bailiffs, Delta Security (not sure exactly who as SIA badges hidden), local police, and our old friends Sitex Orbis.