|   | 

Violent clashes break out as bailiffs and police try to clear 'Occupy Bournemouth' squatters' camp as people living there set off flares and throw paint before their tents are removed

  • Around 20 people have been living at Occupy Bournemouth's 'Homeless Sanctuary' since start of December
  • Group moved in and barricaded themselves on private land intended to become new accommodation blocks 
  • But Bournemouth Council ordered an eviction notice for squatting and now bailiffs are clearing the camp
  • Protesters threw coloured dye and paint at eviction officers while there were heated scenes with police   

Violent clashes have broken out as bailiffs and police tried to clear an unauthorised squatters' camp in Bournemouth.   

Protesters set off flares and launched paint and dye at eviction officers as authorities cut their way onto the disused site.

As many as 20 people have been living on the closed off piece of land in the seaside town since before Christmas. 

They are understood to be a mixture of homeless people and campaigners from the group Occupy Bournemouth, who were evicted after taking over the town hall in 2012.  

This camp consisted of around 20 tents, had its own kitchen, a constant campfire and a medical tent. In the days leading up until Christmas, it even had a seven-foot tall tree complete with lights and decorations. 

Enforcement officers moved onto the camp at about 11am on Tuesday and were met with resistance from protesters who attempted to barricade the front gates with wooden pallets and masonry.

The entrance was soon cleared and bailiffs set about clearing the camp, but protesters made life difficult by hurling blue dye and powder paint at the bailiffs. 

Organisers who established the site have now slammed Bournemouth Council for their attitude towards homelessness, labelling their stance 'disgusting'.

Enforcement officers moved onto the camp at about 11am on Tuesday and were met with resistance from protesters who attempted to barricade the front gates with wooden pallets and masonry 

Enforcement officers moved onto the camp at about 11am on Tuesday and were met with resistance from protesters who attempted to barricade the front gates with wooden pallets and masonry 

Protesters set off flares and launched paint and dye at eviction officers as the authorities cut their way onto the disused site 

Protesters set off flares and launched paint and dye at eviction officers as the authorities cut their way onto the disused site 

Homeless activist Lawrence Best said: 'I am demonstrating against Bournemouth Borough Council against their lack of care, lack of thought. This place here is a sanctuary, we have a kitchen, a medical tent, this is our home.'

Karen Ralph, who was at the eviction to support the homeless site, said: 'People have been donating left, right and centre. There is support locally for the camp. Everywhere I go there are homeless people, I'm not one of these people that can just stop and walk past.

'This is a bad situation they find themselves in.

'These people just need somewhere to put their home, so they can be safe. It is all very well and good saying, on Monday you can sleep here, on Tuesday you can sleep there, they need continuity.'

Despite the disapproval from residents, most of the site's tents have now been cleared, and the rough sleepers moved on.

There are now plans for a 96-bed flat complex on the site with a group of developers gaining outline planning permission.

The move has proved controversial but Bournemouth Council are adamant the decision to disband the camp is the right one.

Robert Chapman, Bournemouth central councillor said: 'It is totally unsuitable for people to be sleeping on this site.

'There is no need in this day and age for people to be sleeping like that and I'm quite sure the majority are not genuinely homeless.'

The entrance was soon cleared and bailiffs set about clearing the camp, but protesters made life difficult by hurling blue dye and powder paint at the bailiffs 

The entrance was soon cleared and bailiffs set about clearing the camp, but protesters made life difficult by hurling blue dye and powder paint at the bailiffs 

Occupy Bournemouth figrues who established the site have now slammed the town's council for their attitude towards homelessness, branding their stance as 'disgusting'

Occupy Bournemouth figrues who established the site have now slammed the town's council for their attitude towards homelessness, branding their stance as 'disgusting'

Nowhere to go: Homeless tenants of the site and campaigners were photographed looking puzzled and clutching their equipment after being forced from the site 

Nowhere to go: Homeless tenants of the site and campaigners were photographed looking puzzled and clutching their equipment after being forced from the site 

  

 

Tags News

ABOUT THE AUTHOR celebrityrave

Journalist, writer and broadcaster, based in London and Paris, her latest book is Touché: A French Woman's Take on the English. Read more articles from Agnes.

related articles

Celebrity News