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ARC court case won by former Friern Barnet Library activists


The Arnos Grove Resource Centre (ARC)

Friern Barnet Library activists move on to new project in Enfield Borough in an attempt to fight austerity, homelessness and unjust squatting laws

Community activists – previously caretakers of Friern Barnet Library and now residing at the Arnos Family Resource Centre (ARC), 321A Bowes Road, N11 1BA – won their court case against Enfield Council on March 11 2013 at the Barnet County Court. Many of the activists arrived at court to defend the case being brought by Enfield Council for possession of the property, accompanied by several members of the Friern Barnet community, who also sent over 20 letters of support.

The judge threw out the case because Enfield’s barrister missed the court hearing. The judge also commented there were procedural errors with Enfield Council’s paperwork.

This means that the activists are to remain in the space, giving them the opportunity to provide community workshops and to negotiate a deal with the council, thus hopefully preventing more taxpayers’ money being squandered. Pete Phoenix, a veteran community organiser and part of the FB Library campaign and Occupy movement, said “We have constantly offered to negotiate with Enfield Council as we did with Barnet Council. We hope that money can be saved on costly court cases and that more arrangements for temporary use can be made, between property owners of some of the 1.4 million empty buildings in the UK and groups who need homes and community space. The new law on squatting has already led to people freezing to death this winter. We want solutions to the housing crisis. Homes for all, not jails!”

The community activists are using the former family resource centre to provide activities such as skill-sharing and workshops with a focus on health, art and education. The centre has been opened up to provide spaces for a variety of community groups. The activists are hoping to form a mutual agreement with the council to keep the building accessible for the use of the community.


About Tent City University

Welcome to Tent City University @OccupyLondon! This is a space to learn, share knowledge and develop skills through a wide series of workshops, lectures, debates, films, games, praxis and action. As formal education becomes more and more commodified and inaccessible, here we have an opportunity to explore alternatives. Because between us we have all the resources we need. Anyone can teach, everyone can learn – and the two go hand in hand. Feel free to propose sessions, listen to new ideas and share with others what you know or want to know. Post eviction we remain committed to promoting collective wisdom and looking at how we use knowledge together. We’re now focusing on how we relocate TCU both conceptually and physically. We will focus on outreach and communication using teach outs and holding TCU events in many places. We will be surprising and unlikely, creating a database of places closed and open. Starting on the 17th of March, as a big teach out day. Please email suggestions to tentcityuniverity@gmail.com.

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