‘Camesquat’ squatters won’t leave Camelot’s Hoxton building without a fight
PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 October 2016 | UPDATED: 08:14 06 October 2016
Battle lines have been drawn as squatters occupying a Hoxton property firm say hundreds of their supporters will swarm the building and streets outside if attempts are made to evict them.
The stand-off between anti-squatting firm Camelot and protesters, who have dubbed their occupation “Camesquat”, has entered its second week.
Last week Camelot, which owns the Westland Place building, offered a compromise of sorts to the group, saying they could work together to set up a cultural community centre at Camesquat.
The plans were to have been discussed on Monday morning at Camelot’s new offices in Ramsgate Street, Dalston, but the squatters failed to turn up, saying they “couldn’t envisage doing a deal with a company like Camelot”.
Camelot’s sales manager Edward Fenner claimed he had been up since 4.30am preparing and three security guards were on hand in case of any trouble.
Mr Fenner told the Gazette: “I remember them saying: ‘We want to do an acoustic workshop.’ Since then, we have been working continuously to get them what they want and they didn’t have the courtesy to turn up – but it’s not to say we won’t go ahead.”
Chief exec Mike Goldsmith added: “The intention was to debate and come up with a positive way forward. I can’t comment on the legal route – the intention was to avoid the legal route.”
Camesquat spokesman Frank Freeman praised Camelot for ploughing ahead with a community centre – but said they should do it in one of their other empty buildings as 12 homeless people were now living in Westland Place.
He said: “Even if Edward goes to court, it will be difficult to get us out. There will be hundreds of people down to resist an eviction with baliffs.
“They would be sitting down in the streets and inside the building so it’s virtually impossible to evict, even if there’s a court order. So many people are disgruntled with Camelot and want affordable housing and they have had enough.”
Mr Freeman said the group filmed themselves entering the building to prove they did not cause any criminal damage.
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