Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sick of cops. Sicks of locked out squats.

As i was typing the last blog entry about getting some photo's up of our squat and it's ad-hoc mastery; the very squat i was typing about was being evicted! This was not your normal Sydney squat eviction. Generally things will go down one of two ways.

  • The owner will show up, surprised to find someone living in their wasting house, feign some outrage and ask you to leave. Either immediately or within some time frame they see as reasonable or...
  • The owner will show up with the police and do more of less the same thing; ask you to leave or give you abit of time.

But this was not to be the case for our Stanmore squat. Unfortunately Stanmore falls within the jurisdiction of Newtown Local Area Command, if anyone has had any dealings with these unpleasant folks you'll know why this is a problem.

On Saturday morning a few hardened criminal squatters were waking up, making small talk, sharing stories and cooking some pancakes when interrupted by a knock on the door. Without delay, the police arrested everyone within the house, regardless of whether they lived there or not. Loaded them into a paddywagon and left for the station.
When they arrived at the station they were detained for 45 minutes in the back of the wagon, then moved inside where they were separated and held for four hours. They were then charged and held in solitary confinement for a further two hours before being released on bail. All were charged with trespass which is unheard of among Sydney squatters.
All this for living in a house that had been empty for a decade, and will lie empty for another.

While the police response may seem unusual - and it is - it turns out that the kind of overreaction seen is only to be expected from Newtown Cops; those arrested were told by someone giving legal advice that the arresting officer had once stopped a man who was pushing a bicycle home, breath tested him and charged him with drink driving! To know that these kind of sociopaths have been granted amazing powers over our lives is either frightening, infuriating or both.

Although not all is lost. While our little crew has been physically broken up, we're still looking after each other and taking care of each others things. I've since moved into the most breathtakingly large squat i have ever heard of, we're in negotiations with the owners to arrange a caretakers lease and if all goes ahead and we're legalised then our crew will be back again, causing all sorts of nightmares for police, such as living in an empty building.

If you know someone who is taking direct action to better their life and the lives of others, and that person is not interested in perpetuating a system of exploitation then call crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 - Pigs Need To Know.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

G20 Benefit

Help out some comrades who need it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Circuit Bending/Ad-hoc/New Band

While it may not be new to many, it is new to me, and it is certainly looks like tons of fun.

The basic premise is to mess around with the circuitry of a sound producing toy or appliance to make a new and interesting sound(s). Though sound is not the only thing that can be "bent" as the video below shows; video signals too can also be bent to produce some very interesting stuff.

Over the last few weeks i have been working on a few ad-hoc objects, making a lamp out of a kettle i found, a candle holder out of the kettle's element and so on, and now i've learnt of circuit bending, i guess i could call those works case bending or something to that effect, as i've not changed any circuitry (yet).

I suppose i enjoy the fact that making do with improvised items is a creative act that has the immediacy of practicality and purpose. At our new squat we have a kitchen sink make of a sink top and milk crates, a door as a bench top, another door as a coffee table and old planks and boards for floors and so on - all these things as well as being free have a wonderful aesthetic that i wouldn't trade for ikea furniture.

I really wish i did have a camera to get up some pictures of our squat as i didnt get many pictures of the last place up either, though we were robbed the other day and unfortunatly a housemates camera was stolen. I have been able to borrow some recording devices from Uni however to record a sound project i've been working on and you can listen to it here. There are some downloads too, coming soon however will be a downloadable .pdf that you can fold into a CD case.

Until next time.