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Squat Challenges Homophobia with Banner Drop


Independent newspaper B247 reports that a squatted building on Dean Lane in the Bedminster area of Bristol was raided by riot police on Friday last week. It was not an eviction per se but the Police said that several people inside had been wanted in connection with another squatted eviction incident in the City centre. A man living at the squat told the small crowd gathered that “everyone is safe inside. Nobody’s been beaten. They (the police) have been really cool with us, for a change.” The squat had been in an old Salvation Army building, and – referencing the troubled relationship between the Sally Army and LGBTQ people – a banner from the rooftop of the squat included a rainbow flag and the legend “F**** the Salvation Army and its Homophobia”. Squatting has been made harder by successive Conservative governments, but there is still a lively movement in the UK making use of unoccupied business premises. Squatting has a close relationship with the more radical wing of the gay and trans movements. Back in the seventies, numerous squats in London were operated through the Gay Liberation Front, which provided homes for people kicked out of their homes for being LGBTQ. Our own movement, that of community radio has across Europe, a close historical relationship with squatting. Pioneers of the movement such as Radio Alice in Bologna, Radio Vrie Keiser in Amsterdam and Radio Concord in London beamed out illegally from squatted buildings during the nineteen seventies.

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