Fibbers squatters set to be evicted today – but say they will resist
The squatters in Fibbers are set to be evicted today (Friday).
They have been served with an interim possession order which orders them out at 9.45am.
YorkMix broke the news last week that the group known as Barbican Community Centre had moved in to the former music venue on Toft Green.
They said they wanted to repair the dilapidated building and turn it into a community performance space.
Plans have been submitted to demolish Fibbers and build an office development in its place. However developers North Star told YorkMix they are in advanced talks about creating a new music venue at the site.
They say that they would have worked with the squatters to create a pop-up community space in another empty property in the city. But Fibbers was too unsafe for that purpose.
So they have served the eviction order.
‘Determined to stay’
In a statement the Barbican Community Centre said the eviction order was invalid because it was served incorrectly: “The date and time of service written by the claimant is incorrect and we did not receive the correct court papers along with the IPO,” they said.
They say: “As we got served an invalid eviction notice, we are determined to remain at the site and continue with our community-led projects at Fibbers, even if the police may not comply.
“For the last two weeks, the community centre has created opportunities for local people to spend time cleaning the abandoned building and make it into a welcoming space for all.
“We have established a wellbeing room, a library, a kitchen to feed people, hosted live music and housed those who needed it.
“We believe that North Star would not have been able to coordinate such activities from a grassroots perspective, as they are a profit-driven company. As squatters, we have a legal right to be here and to not be forcibly evicted, despite North Star wrongly claiming that we broke into the site.”
The Barbican Community Centre was formed after squatters occupied land owned by Persimmon next to the York Barbican Centre.
That action highlighted the fact that the developers had ‘land banked’ the site and left it untouched for 15 years.
They were evicted by force – with one squatter carried out by bailiffs, all of which was captured on video.
The group said today: “The eviction of Fibbers will take yet another focal point of community from the people of York. It will mean that those who have been relying on that space to live and work will be yet again thrown into uncertain situations with few other places to go.”