Wednesday, 20 January 2010

The People Vs. Crossrail

By bringing forward a scheme which is feasible, practical and likely to achieve private sector partner funding, Crossrail will help to support economic growth and boost the region's regeneration areas.To achieve this, we have consulted with a broad range of stakeholders and the public at large.

-Crossrail’s website

“We are a very successful business but could not find anywhere suitable to move to in just three months. The employees are not going to find jobs now. I spent 17 years of my life working to build this place up and now I have nothing. I just have to worry about if and when I get any kind of compensation. It is devastating, but more for my staff.”
-Domenico Savaresa, 45
Owner, Spaccanapoli restaurant,
Job losses: 24

'Crossrail is forcing us out of business and the compensation is tiny, '
- firms Sri Carmichael and Benedict Moore-Bridger

We are currently squatting The Bath House Pub on 96 Dean St. This is part of two main blocks in Soho which have been comopulsery purchased to aid the development of this transport project. The blocks have been empty since early November when all residents were evicted.

Crossrail plan to extend their platform from the current Tot Crt Rd stn to Dean St making their trains some of the longest in Europe. Crossrail have taken two blocks in Soho, when in fact their plans only show the need for one. They have no use for the second block in their plans making some question how they have been allowed to compulsory purchase this land at under its market value. Some have speculated that the site is in motion of sale with the purpose of making it a shopping centre.

We are supportive of public transport schemes provided they are lawful, provide value for taxpayers’ money and do not cause unnecessary harm. The present Crossrail scheme fails on all these counts, while benefiting the UK’s richest community, namely the City and Canary Wharf .A total of 55 businesses have been ordered to leave Soho, central London.

They did not pay the proprietors full market value for the property. Many small local business' forced to close forever without proper compensation. All in the name of 'progress and redevelopment' what this means is that Tesco and other major corporations can stay and continue to take over what little 'soul' was left in Soho.

This is a microcosmic example of what is happening all over London, where normal people are being forced to leave for big bussiness.

We got an adjournment against Crossrail in court because they could not sufficiently prove that they owned the building, but they have now cut off our water and nailed our roof hatch down...

Please call 0203 229 9188 and complain for us.

Thank you!!!

Friday, 15 January 2010

Persons Unknown VS. The Secretary of State

On Wednesday the 13th of January the collective formally known as Video Basement, went to the Regents Park County Court on bicycles, looking like the cast of Fame after they had been dragged through mud and frozen glitter. They were there to defend their current home, The Bath House no. 96 Dean St. And were being represented by Trevor Love, a member of the commune. They were accompanied by Michaela, one of Pauline’s friends who has lived in the same block for many years and is very angry about the way Crossrail have treated local residents and businesses. The case began with DJ Lightman asking Crossrail to prove how they own the property. He did this after reading the squatters defence which points to a paragraph in crossrail’s case where they state they have freehold f all properties in the block with some exceptions Green King Ltd, 96 Dean St being one of them, Veronica Glass, could respond with nothing but, ‘they just do.’ She looked embarrassed at the major mistake, that her firm (which had won 2009 Law firm of the year award) had made. DJ Lightman said that the best he could offer mistress glass was an adjournment and suggested that Crossrail contact Green King Ltd, the current legal owners, who would need to evict the occupants. The DJ then went on to praise the defendants saying and this is a quote ‘who wrote this case, it’s very good.’ Love replied that it was their handsome housemate Pauline. The judge then looked to make a new date for the case and after looking in his diary muttered 1st Feb, with DJ Lightman, that’s me. One the squatters laughed at this point, to which the judge responded angrily. ‘There is nothing funny about the law.’ But there most certainly is. Before the case was closed, Love requested to ask two questions ‘why was this case private? And, why were some of our friends turned away?’ The DJ said he had not been asked that question in a long time, and needed to look it up. He looked in his book of law and read that ‘since 1998 any case concerning landlord and tenant should be private.’ He then said that this being a squatting case, it should be public and that it was another error on behalf of Crossrail. The second question was 'Did Crossrail have permission from the secretary of state to act on their behalf?' This answer was muddy.They have 2 more weeks til they return to court.

Nature Reserve

we want to make our Crossrail site into

a nature reserve.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

check this shit

up soon.

Monday, 21 December 2009


Fuck off.

We are not interested in any sort of coverage from the mainstream media. Aside from the fact that they are usually factually incorrect, and make everyone come across as complete wankers, we see any news articles or similar as detrimental to the squatting movement. It is articles like this that have, and will lead to the laws being changed, making it much harder for squatting to exist at all.

Date: Wed, 9 Dec 2009 16:42:59 +0000
Subject: From the Guardian

Hello there
Helen Pidd here, I'm a reporter from the Guardian. I'm working on a piece about the different squatting groups around London, and have heard about what you lot have been doing this year. The idea of the piece is to round up all of the squatting activity to hit the headlines this year - the Da! collective, the Park Lane squatters, Mark Guard and his curious project, the Oubliette, plus the VHS Video basement.
I know you're currently resident in the Puss in Boots strip club, and wondered whether I could come along one day soon to have a chat to you about what you are doing and why. Is it an art project? Just somewhere to live? A political statement? All of the above?
Hope to hear from you soon,

Helen Pidd
Reporter, the Guardian

2009/12/14 Pavel Velour :
Hi "Helen",

We have a "policy" that we don't respond to "major news reporting". In general, coverage of "squatting" has been predominantly detrimental to the movement, with for example the newer anti squatting laws introduced around the heyday of media coverage of the previous major squatting drive.

We understand however that your interest is in us as a "collective", and appreciate this and your interest in "us". Not sure what to say about what we "do". We're slowly drifting away from the arts and are drifting towards shoplifting and "petty crime" more recently.

Someone else has written an article about our "current space" which is quite relevant:

I don't really know how to respond in emails, how to type and get my "ideas / feelings" across. Would you watch a video if we made it for you?


"VHS" Video Basement?

Puss in Boots Strip Club
11 White Horse Street

Date: Mon, 14 Dec 2009 10:15:33 +0000
Subject: Re: From the Guardian

er "thanks"

From: Pavel Velour (
Sent: 14 December 2009 11:36:53

Would you still like us to make a movie for you?

VHS Video Basement



Saturday, 12 December 2009

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Recipies for Disaster

This is a really great zine for 16mm crafts


is easy.

Things you need
- some clear/ blank 16mm film avaliable on Ebay cheap
- a 16mm projector, available for hire here or you can get for as little £20 on Ebay.
- then you need stuff to put on the film (can use anything as long as it runs through the projector and does not cover the sprockets)
*india ink
* bleach
* hole punch
*found footage (if you have a projector in which the sound works you can make OPTICAL SOUND, used by Guy Sherwin)

Mothlight by STAN BRAKHAGE
made after seeing a moth fly into a candle