Hoxton Sharks arts charity raided by police amid weekend protests

Two protesters use bamboo lock-ons to block the road outside the Newsprinters printing works at Brox

Two protesters use bamboo lock-ons to block the road outside the Newsprinters printing works at Broxbourne, Hertfordshire in September of last year. - Credit: PA

A Hackney arts charity in Hoxton Docks was raided by dozens of officers as part of a pre-emptive crackdown to prevent crime and disruptions during planned protests over the weekend.

Footage from the raid, posted by the charity Antepavilion, shows officers using angle grinders and other power tools to gain access through doors on June 25. 

The charity is known for its annual arts competition. Past winners include the Hoxton Sharks, once located at the docks.

The weekend's protests saw a convergence of groups rallying in the capital, from environmental activists to anti-lockdown and anti-austerity campaigners.

The Met say they took proactive action to prevent and reduce criminal disruption, believed to be targeted at media business locations. 

Ten people were arrested at three locations in London for conspiracy to cause public nuisance. One 65-year-old man was arrested for dangerous driving. 

The shiver of sharks at Hoxton Docks were planned to sing, blow bubbles and smoke before Hackney cou

The Hoxton Sharks was a winning design in the Antepavilion's annual architecture competition. They can now be found in Islington after Hackney Council were granted an injunction to have them removed. - Credit: Antepavilion

A number of items were seized by officers during the raid, including bamboo structures, lock-on equipment and other items which could, according to the Met, be used to cause criminal damage and obstructions.

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The arts space is home to a bamboo structure art installation used in Extinction Rebellion's (XR) Broxbourne print works blockade last September, which stopped a range of papers reaching newsstands.

A spokesperson for the Antepavilion charity said the police used angle grinders and other power tools on doors.

A spokesperson for the Antepavilion charity said the police used angle grinders and other power tools on external and internal doors during the raid. - Credit: Antepavilion

XR reports that the arrests at the Antepavillion came hours after police raided the Extinction Rebellion warehouse, preceding the group's Free the Press march held a day later, which saw protesters lobby print moguls such as Rupert Murdoch.

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All those arrested in the Met's proactive investigations have been released under investigation. 

In a statement, released on Friday (June 25), Chief Inspector Joe Stokoe said: “We believe certain protest groups are specifically intending to disrupt some business locations or potentially cause criminal damage to property. If this happens we will take further action as required to prevent offences being committed or deal with anyone committing criminal acts."

The arts charity reports significant damage caused by the raid. 

The arts charity reports significant damage caused by the raid. - Credit: Antepavilion

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