St MATTHIAS YOUTH CLUB was occupied by squatters today Saturday 13 May 2017. It ended several hours later when police, cheered on by passers-by, used battering rams to gain entry. Locks on the doors had been changed.
They told the police through the letterbox that they had been inside for a week.
After they came out, the squatter pictured above told Loving Dalston: “The club should be used every day and it was not. That is why we squatted it. We are homeless.”
She admitted to not knowing that the building had been unavailable to its young users since it was sold to developer East Eight on condition of including premises for the club in the planned flats-and-offices building.
The squatters, who said they were four but may have numbered only two, had not realised that their action could delay the club from resuming its youth activities.
When St Matthias helpers saw this morning that the building was squatted, they worried that if the occupation did not end quickly, it could delay building work,which would hampering the club’s resumption. It has been unable to find temporary premises.
They phoned the police, who sent six officers from Stoke Newington and, with later reinforcements, regained possession of the building, which is at the corner of Dalston Lane and Cecilia Road. The invaders came out quietly.
David Altheer 130517
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