Emergency Hiatus >>> Homeless Camp Manchester

Paddy Reilly, St Ann's Square, Manchester. 21 June 2015

Paddy Reilly, St Ann’s Square, Manchester. 21 June 2015

It was six weeks ago I first went to the Homeless Rights of Justice Manchester camp, based then at St Peter’s Square.  The [Salford] Wall isn’t over- but the city of Manchester is in a state of emergency.  There is a battle being waged- it isn’t abstract.  It is very, very real.  This country is and has been in a state of civil war.  It is a slow genocide, starting with the homeless and the poor.

It’s impossible for me to focus my energies on rebuilding a wall when actual lives are at stake.  The actions of Manchester City Council in response to the protest camp have amounted to nothing less than murder, committing and willing people to die.  Sickeningly, it is for the purposes of profit.  There is, and has been, widespread systematic abuse.

I’ve shed and seen too many tears of despair and sadness in these last weeks while providing on-the-ground support.  There is nonetheless something life-affirming within this all- from members of the camp alongside the outpouring of public support.  Someone was saying the other day, there have been 1,400 prophets on this earth since Jesus Christ; none of them were able to change this world.  I replied it that maybe it’s not down to one individual- that it will only happen if it is done by all.  It is happening.

23 May 2015 - Love Kitchen, set up by Katrina

23 May 2015 – Love Kitchen, set up by Katrina

My own awakening is that the last three years have been preparing me for this.  I will stay until the bitter end.  For me, as an artist, it is about the production of truth- of resistance, love, strength and possibility in the face of tyranny and horror.  We will only overcome in common solidarity.  Much of these last few weeks have been spent living in paranoia and fear- as the camp has faced attack from without and within.  It is the truth of life in the streets.  I have only emerged stronger and less naive.

19 May early hours before the Eviction

19 May, St Peter’s Square under the portico of Central Library early hours before the Eviction

The [Salford] Wall will be rebuilt- and on the land where it will stand there will be no exploitation, no misery, no violence, no abuse, no greed.  It is an expression to stay in perpetuity.  As the homeless protest progresses and becomes more stable (inroads with the Council are already being made), I will gradually be returning to The [Salford] Wall.

There is a humanitarian crisis happening in this city which far too many have become too desensitized to see.  Until the city council chooses to do the right thing, the homeless need direct support.  While this battle is being waged, donations of food and supplies are very gratefully received- and, as urgently, for the people of Manchester to speak our support.

END HOMELESSNESS MCRfacebook and Twitter

CURRENT CAMPS

St Ann’s Square – facebook
Homeless Hill – Castlefield (nr Duke St) – facebook
Oxford Road (under Mancunian Way)

Selected PERSONAL POSTS (photos and videos indicated by pink)

6 Aug – UPDATE FROM THE CAMPS>> System Report I >> the imprisonment of young Britain
6 Aug – “… World War III isn’t on the horizon- it’s already started.  It’s a war against the people- against us.”
2 Aug – the SOLUTION
2 Aug – Eagles :: The Business of War /// The perimeter for Manchester City Council’s injunction against the homeless…
31 Jul – ‘Words cannot convey what happened today other than to say the gates of hell have been opened’
30 Jul – [COURT HEARING]
29 Jul – Homeless PROTEST Sleepout MCR
27 Jul – Two more people’s comments deleted by MCC – deleted comments classed as ‘abusive’ and ‘wilful misinterpretation of facts’
25 Jul
– Political censorship by Manchester City Council over homeless court case
25 Jul – discovery comments have been deleted on City Centre Voice
25 Jul – post on City Centre Voice showing defamatory libel by Manchester City Council against the homeless camps
24 Jul – new banner at St Ann’s Square
22 Jul – denial of Legal Aid to homeless defendants
21 Jul
– call for Solidarity – Court case today
20 Jul – Individual POLITICAL STATEMENT and ARTWORK at Manchester International Festival / Town Hall – Memorial to the 8 who have died from homelessness…
19 Jul – call for Solidarity for upcoming court case
18 Jul – Homeless Street Eviction Protest
16 JulEnd Homelessness Mcr set up / Homeless Street Eviction Protest
12 Jul
– a gift from Homeless Hill
6 Jul
– the truth of the streets / Manchester City Council homeless murders
4 Jul – fury that Council continues to send teenagers to live in the streets, while projecting public image that they’re working on immediate and long-term solutions
1 Jul – threat of physical violence by forces unknown escalate at camp, suspicion of agitators
26 Jun – potential for court case to indict policies of this government’s social genocide as Human Rights Violations
25 Jun – post about possession order attempting to ban the homeless from ALL of Manchester city centre – WARNING expletives used
23 Junphotos 5-21 June
23 Jun – suspicious activity involving a broken window at St. Ann’s Church
19 Junvideo from camp – 18 June: direct link Paddy Reilly aka the Guitar Man Under the Bridge singing his own song “Ireland Poland Boy”
14 Junphotos 7-14 June
12 Jun – post from Danny Jones
1 Jun – moving into camp // politics.co.uk article
29 May – call for support // ‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’ Comic Launch
25 May – personal vignette of a night on camp
24 May – on government policy as genocide, and Manchester City Council’s actions against the homeless camp as murder
23 May – join Manchester Stands Against Austerity protest
22 May – Homeless RoJ on ALL.FM 96.9 / Izy and Kath with Julie Hesmondhalgh (Coronation Street)
21 May
– sign OPEN LETTER to Manchester City Council to Cease legal action against Manchester Homeless Rights of Justice protest: direct link Open Letter
19 May
video of the eviction: direct link Eviction from St Peter’s Square 19 May
19 May – members of the camp barricaded in marquee, surrounded by Greater Manchester Police
19 May – urgent call to St. Ann’s Square (site of displaced camp)
18 May – last day at St. Peter’s Square / Central Library before the camp’s impending eviction
15 Maypersonal protest outside Central Library (outside where the camp was based, with the homeless refused access to public toilets and to the library in general)
13 May – call to join solidarity demonstration in support of Homeless Rights of Justice court appeal
12 May – sign petition to mayors in 33 cities attempting to make feeding the homeless illegal
11 May – ‘Make Noise for the Homeless’
11 May – sign Homeless Rights of Justice petition

CAMP COMMUNICATIONS

6 July: There are currently 3 main and roughly autonomous entities involved- the camps at Castlefield and St Ann’s (in communication but independently run), alongside Homeless Rights of Justice (which as of 18 June is not directly involved with the camps).

End Homelessness Mcr (autonomous entity relaying info but not officially from the camps) Facebook and Twitter
Homeless Hill (Castlefield) Facebook
#homelesscampmcr
St Ann’s Square Facebook supported by RAPAR
Homeless Rights of Justice Facebook and Twitter

SOME PRESS

‘Barbaric’ court order says homeless people can sleep in cardboard boxes – but NOT tents (Daily Mirror) 6 August
Manchester should be honouring its homeless protesters, not evicting them
(Guardian) 31 July
Homeless protesters face eviction from Manchester city centre
(Guardian) 29 June
We All Need A Roof Over Our Heads (Morning Star) 11 June
Housing for All: Homelessness camp in Manchester sparks new movement (politics.co.uk) 31 May
Kath France and Danny Jones on ALL.FM Friday Drive Time with Fiona Ledgard 22 May

** NOTE: Articles from the Manchester Evening News are deliberately not included in this list. Certain articles have presented a strongly skewed version of what’s happening, with outright lies (always in favour of the Council – whether pro-Council or anti-homeless camp) **

In love and solidarity xxx

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