SOCIAL CENTRE PLUS, the occupied Job Centre on Deptford High Street, successfully resisted an attempted eviction the morning of Tuesday 12th. Around 60 people gathered outside the space, linking arms and blocking the front door so as to prevent High Court bailiffs and builders – backed up by a vanload of police – from entering.
The victory was achieved following an hour-long stand-off, during which the bailiffs – from Locks Bury Services – met with Paul Jackson, the site’s landlord, were spotted outside the Deptford Project, the café opposite Social Centre Plus, whose owner also wanted the space for a high society art exhibition. There they made a series of frantic phone calls in which they spelt out their reluctance to confront the occupiers inside the anti-cuts space, some of whom were positioned on the building’s roof.
Eventually the police informed the bailiffs that they had no intention of intervening, and recommended that they come back another day. Members of the local community remained outside SCP for most of the morning, savouring the success for South East London’s anti-cuts movement.
However, the SCP Collective is well aware of the continued threat to the space. A second eviction attempt must be expected, and this time Locks Bury will come unannounced, and with the necessary tools and thugs to remove the occupiers. Despite this, SCP remains committed to hosting and facilitating the local anti-cuts movement, even if they do have to move on from 122 Deptford High Street.
With this in mind, SCP hosted a public meeting the night before the eviction resistance in order to coordinate further activities against the government’s brutal cuts, both at local and national level. The NHS, local education and attacks to quality of housing were amongst the issues discussed. Local residents who want to join the borough’s fight back against the cuts are encouraged to get in touch or come along to one of our imminent Open Days.