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Ladysquat, Audacious Space and Valley House Squat - Leeds (Yorkshire)
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2008 02:07:33 +0000
Subject: Leeds Squats info
Since the Buckingham Road Nursery Squat, there have been at least three other major squats in North Leeds and there is another in the Hyde Park area of Leeds right at this minute. To try and put them chronologically:
March-April 2007 - For Ladyfest Leeds 2007, the same people behind Kickin n Screamin created Ladysquat. This time they occupied a massive empty school on Blenheim Grove, about 5 minutes walk from the city centre. This was a squat for use by feminists of all ages races and genders. Music was played by mainly female bands, and there were craft and advice workshops. The squat managed to exist for about a month. Having served its purpose, those involved moved on. As far as I know the building has not yet found any other use. There are some images from the squat at https://myspace.com/bovver_boi/photos.
April-May 2008 - Audacious Space - A group squatted the old Council Accomodation Offices on the Headrow Leeds. There are some pictures that document the squat at https://hotfox.eu/set/2008-leeds-headrow-squat. This was obviously very embarrassing for the council, as this follows stories in the local news about 70,000 people being on the housing register whilst thousands of city centre 'luxury' flats lie empty. Inside there was a cafe giving out free tea and coffee, films art, advice and info highlighting the housing crisis in Leeds, and bands played in the evenings. It was noticible that lots of new immigrants to Leeds were stopping by the squat and looking around. It is not known how the group were evicted. The building is still empty but the artwork can still be seen in the window. Indymedia had a feed on this story at http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/04/395928.html.
October 2008-? - Valley House Squat - A group has occupied a huge Victorian house that once was housing association flats in the Hyde Park area of Leeds off Cardigan Road. The house is very secluded and is in great condition. The local Housing Association wanted to sell the building to a property developer who would probably bulldoze it and build a modern building to maximize profits. However due to strong objections from the local residents they were unable to do this. So they decide to leave the building to rot. Local residents are apparently aware the building has been squatted and on the local comunity mailing list have said they are pleased with the situation, as they are disgusted with the behaviour of the Housing Association. So far there have been film screening nights, and artists are using the building for studio space as well as local groups holding meetings there. At present ideas are just getting off the ground and the occupants have a strong chance of keeping this building for quite a long time by Leeds squat standards, so they are anxious to blend into the local area and not annoy residents with loud parties.
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