195 Mare Street

195 Mare Street

195 Mare Street

The party that followed the Anarchist bookfair, was held in a squatted Georgian building in Hackney.

From Queens at Mile End, two bus trips, though it could be I got on the wrong bus.

195 Mare Street, is set back from the Mare Street. Entry through padlocked iron gates then checked again once inside the building.

Entry through a donation.

When I arrived few people, but it soon started to fill up.

A bar. There was to be vegan food, but it never arrived.

In one corner, a clothes swap. Drop off unwanted clothes and take what you want. This proved to be very popular.

Several bands playing until the early hours of the morning.

Not long after I arrived, an avant garde rock group playing.

On sale several CDs by 52 Commercial Road. I picked up one of their CDs, A Wreck Provides An Excellent Foundation. Talking to a band member, he suggested I swapped for Communion, as it had not been released yet (due out on November). Their work is instrumental, avant garde rock including cello and violin.

It is good to see 52 Commercial Road, are releasing on bandcamp, as they will reach a far wider audience, but good too, they brought their albums along to the party.

The building has been damaged. Not by the squatters, but by a thug named Jim Casey and a bunch of builders, who illegally broke into the building and started smashing it. The Police were called and they stood idly by and let the builders smash the building claiming they needed to check the facts before they could act. A Grade II listed building being smashed but the Police have to check the facts. It was not until legal advisors contacted the Police, that they acted to stop the illegal action of the builders.

This is very reminiscent of Firgrove Parade. Bride Hall unlawfully blocked a public right of way. It remained blocked for ten days or more. The Police refused to act, on the other hand, when local people occupied the green to stop the trees being cut down, they were threatened with arrest for aggravated trespass.

195 Mare Street, provides social space. We need social space. This is the ungoverned space between the state and business.

Now planning consent has been granted to demolish The Tumbledown Dick, a 1720s pub and popular live music venue, 195 Mare Street serves as a model of what can be done, were it to be squatted.

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