The bailiffs moved in this morning to evict Reclaim Croydon from the former electrical store and failed arts café next to West Croydon Station.
Reclaim Croydon had been running the former Matthew’s Yard venue as a free coffee community centre called ACAB – Autonomous Café and Bookshop – for more than a month. The landlord, Arch, sought a court injunction to secure the eviction earlier this week.
Reclaim Croydon is the same group of anarchist squatters who took over the vacant offices of Brick by Brick on George Street earlier this year. That building has remained unused since the bailiffs smashed in the doors and the group were forced to leave in September.
It appears that the landlords of the former Maplins store at the busy corner of North End and Station Road prefer to have the premises empty, too.
In a statement issued overnight, knowing that their time was running out, Reclaim Croydon said, “We are trying to take over as much abandoned Croydon as possible while providing housing, community spaces and mutual aid.”
They described Arch as: “A company set up for the sole purpose of buying all the railway arches and railway adjacent buildings when their friends in Government sold it off at way under market value. That sweetheart deal made Arch Co the country’s biggest private landlord overnight.
“Their lawyers convinced the High Court that giving away free hot drinks and providing space for people to be creative is somehow a substantial risk to the general public.”
ACAB had been offering pay-what-you-can coffee and books, a free shop and events for the Croydon public. “The simple act of redistributing resources undermines the drive for profit, which is the core of capitalism,” Reclaim Croydon said.
“We say ‘everything for everyone’, not the state’s greedy bosses or corrupt agents.
“We will not stop reclaiming Croydon and can promise the cafe will return soon.”
- Inside Croydon – as seen on TV! – has been delivering local community news since 2010. 3million page views per year in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
- If you want real journalism, actually based in the borough, you should consider paying for it. Please sign up today. Click here for more details
- If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, or want to publicise your residents’ association or business, or if you have a local event to promote, please email us with full details at email@example.com
- As featured on Google News Showcase
- We offer FREE ads to community groups when they have members who are paid subscribers to Inside Croydon
- Our comments section on every report provides all readers with an immediate “right of reply” on all our content
- Inside Croydon is a member of the Independent Community News Network
- Inside Croydon works together with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, as well as BBC London News and ITV London
- ROTTEN BOROUGH AWARDS: Croydon was named among the country’s rottenest boroughs for a SIXTH successive year in 2022 in the annual round-up of civic cock-ups in Private Eye magazine