Reclaim Croydon’s free bookshop and café closed by bailiffs

The bailiffs moved in this morning to evict Reclaim Croydon from the former electrical store and failed arts café next to West Croydon Station.

Pay-what-you-can: Reclaim Croydon made no secret of their use of the old Maplins as a free café

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.”

Business antidote: Reclaim Croydon promise to be back with more radical schemes

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.”

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4 Responses to Reclaim Croydon’s free bookshop and café closed by bailiffs

  1. Jonny Brogdale says:

    What an inspiring use of the parts of our town that retail capital no longer has any use for. Look forward to ‘Reclaim Croydon’s’ next project to undertake “The simple act of redistributing resources [that] undermines the drive for profit, which is the core of capitalism”

    Good luck to ’em

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