Posted on December 11, 2008. Filed under: Housing News |

On Wednesday 10th December a fire broke out in the Firebird. Police and the fire brigade turned up and occupants of the building were asked to leave on safety grounds.

The police assure residents that they would be allowed back into the building when the fire was out. As usual the police true to their word then refused to allow campaigners back into the building saying that it was unsafe as asbestos had been found. They then notified the owner so he could get the building boarded up.

Campaigners weren’t going to give in that easily so when it was found that a side door was still open they just walked back into the building and claimed squatters rights. The  main door was bolted and the other door had been secured under the supervision of the police so the building was back in our control.

At this point the riot squad arrived and in their usual heavy handed way threatened to force entry and physically remove people if they didn’t leave. After having been told that the police don’t have any such powers there was a long wait while it was obvious they were waiting for orders from someone who knows what the law is. They called the fire brigade to make sure the fire was out. The fire officers were allowed into the building to make it safe and duly left happy in the knowledge that all was well.

Having been assured that the building was safe the police also left and the Firebird is now back in  the control of JUSTICE NOT CRISIS.

If you want to pop in please call round for a cuppa, you’ll be made most welcome.

Check out our poll ! and diary of activities SUNDAY 14 DEC 2008 OPEN DAY / CAR BOOT SALE 8AM TO 4 PM.


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I was present last night when the police arrived mob handed. Officers guarded each door and wouldn’t let people in or out. What power allows them to unlawfully imprison squatters or prevent people goining into a squatted building ??

Do you people not realise that what you are now doing is putting the safety of local people at stake? I for one, am not prepared to take your assurance that the asbestos is not a danger either to yourselves or the people on the Benmore estate.

I really think it is time you called off your campaign and put the safety of others first.

Happy Christmas.

I was present throughout the fire incident last night. The Fire Officer attending the scene told us the building was safe. A Senior Fire safety Officer and 2 collegues have attended today, carried out a full assesment of the building, fitted smoke detectors (Thank you West Mids Fire Service) AND ASSURED US THE BUILDING IS SAFE. They have given us some practical safety advice which we have adopted and commended us on our own safety messures and the condition of the building.

How safe are citizens of Birmingham sleeping in subways a issue your Council choose to ignore !!!

Happy christmas George, reagards Lee (Look no pseudonym!)

Heavy handed Police again, do they not realise that they do not have the power to deal with Health and safety issues thats what the H&S executive are for. You should prosecute them for attempting to force entry to a building protected by squatters rights. I have some interesting film fottage of the police kicking at the doors.

I live opposite the site, the Police attendance(Numbers) was unnecessary the squatters have been there 3 weeks have cut all the overgrown trees down, cleared the weeds and rubbish from around the site and started to canvas the windows Fully support you the Police tried a heavy handed tactic to remove you which was wrong, stand up for the fight.

I support your campaign, the police action was wrong. They don’t listen, don’t care and you were unfairly treated by the Police and should complqain. YOU HAVE DONE MORE TO CLEAN THE PLACE UP IN 2 WEEK THAN THE OWNER HAS IN 5 YEARS.

The only way you can be evicted is by a cdourt order taken out by the owner, the police have no authority to remove you unless that court order is in place. A good solicitor can take the case on for you if you need assistance email me.

I came over last night to support you when I saw the Police turn up, the officer “guarding” the front door wouldn’t let me in, when I asked what authority he had to stop me he told me “I say so” thought this was England not Zimbabwe. This is not a police state.

i was the one who gained access through a unboarded window on the second floor i was discusted by the police who was present i then sneaked through the pub and opened the front door and let the others in and the went and secured the bk door what was under the police supervision and locked the door and left the police ringing the door bell but then the police started to get aggressive and brought reinforcements lots of them but we all standed are ground and we won JUSTICE NOT CRISIS RULES AGAIN

Thanks for the tea etc when I visited today the place looks good, especially the xmas decs. The actions ofr the Police were terrible the damage to the from door particularly. You should certainly complain about their behaviour they think they can do anything because of their uniform. I remember the first day at the camp when the Police Inspector said he was comming in when you said he couldn’t I’ll email you the fottage of him trying to break the gate down, remember what a laugh! All the best Ill try and get over again before xmas to see you all. Keep up the good work amazing to see youv’e had nearly 11000 hits on your website.

I was around when the police and the fire brigade were present at the firebird pub the other day and i found it discusting the way the people sqautting were treated by the police.

What right do they have of telling people that they cant go inside because “they say so”?

I fully support and believe in what they are working for and as a person that has lived in a hostel for 2 and half years am grateful that there are people that are fighting for a cause that affects thousands of people on a daily basis .

They are all adults and are fully aware of the implications of any danger (if there was any.)

You have complete respect and support from me keep up the good work,

Ill be in for a cuppa again soon so get that kettle on.

Congratulations, JNC and your collegues from the other organisations on reaching your 11,000 hits, keep up the good work and heres to your next 11,000!! Fully support everything your doing, horrendous how the Police acted the other night ” Never trust a copper” wish I had more time to come down more often see you soon.

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