RIOT police violently evicted housing activists yesterday who had squatted a former cult bar in London’s Soho‚ “smashing” through the back door.
The two-week occupation of 12 Bar Club ended in dramatic scenes as bailiffs and police forced 20 people out of the venue in the early morning.
Bohemians 4 Soho member Danny Gardner told the Star that the eviction started at 9.30am, when occupiers were starting their day.
“We were expecting something earlier but it didn’t happen so we went back to sleep,” said Mr Gardner.
“They busted into the building, we asked for help but …”
A Met Police spokesman argued that upon police arrival “the majority [of occupiers] left voluntarily and without incident,” but one person was arrested and taken into custody.
Footage of the eviction was streamed live from inside the bar by members of Occupy London, showing people shouting as a door is kicked in.
A man’s voice cries: “There’s people attached to the door — you are going to kill someone if you do that.
“You really don’t want to kill people who are trying to save Soho.
“Wait for court tomorrow morning, then you can assess if you can kill us or not.
Bohemians 4 Soho took over 26 Denmark Street in late January after the bar shut down due to a joint Crossrail and Consolidated Developments regeneration project.
Since then activists have battled eviction attempts, attended court hearings and endured harassment from unidentified security staff.
Despite this, the evenings at the squat were filled with music and entertainment events, including a supporting performance by folk musician Frank Turner.
An emergency hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice was set for yesterday afternoon by the Bohemians’ legal team so the group could return to the occupation.
It was adjourned to 10am today.
A march through Soho was expected to take place last night with local residents, sex workers and other housing activists uniting in solidarity with the Bohemians.
There were also unconfirmed rumours of a planned two-day street party on Denmark Street.