Sweets Way Estate: demonstrations over arrests of two anonymous squatters

Emanuele Midolo
Oct 16, 2015 · 2 min read
Alan Stanton, Flickr

Two activist squatters arrested during evictions at a housing estate in North London were released after protesters called for a ‘noise demonstration’ on their behalf.

The two activists were arrested on September 24th at Sweets Way Estate, after they refused to identify themselves to police officers and bailiffs that conducted the evictions. “They were arrested for obstructing the action of the High Court Enforcers”, said a representative of the collective Sweets Way Resists, “but it was passive resistance.”

“We all believe these arrests were unjust, and two of the arrestees have asserted their right to remain anonymous,” he said. “As a result, the state incarcerated them, holding them on remand while the police took their time investigating their identities”.

Blackhood and Greysweatshirt — two assumed names given for court registers — were granted bail three weeks after their arrest, on October 15th. They both retained their anonymity.

“Bring pots, pans, anything you can think of to make noise and let them know that we are doing it for them!”, wrote Sweets Way Resists on Facebook. But due to the release of the two prisoners, the ‘noise demonstration’ in front of Wormwood Scrubs prison was converted into a “celebration action”, on Saturday 17th October. The ‘noise demonstration’ is a tactic employed outside prisons and other places of detention by anarchists and radicals worldwide.

Early in the morning of September 24th, after a 7-month protest, police and High Court Enforcers forcefully removed the last resident of Sweets Way Estate, Mostafa Aliverdipour, 49, a disabled father of four. The same day, 16 people — mostly former residents of the estate — were arrested and charged for resisting the bailiffs, while protesting on the rooves against the eviction.

The 142 houses of Sweets Way — the estate that showed London what regeneration should look like — are now empty.

Emanuele Midolo

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Former editor in chief @agoravoxitalia Investigative journalism trainee @CityUniLondon