Destruction of Hotel Africa

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* The barren patch of ground that used to hold three sleeping spaces, a kitchen, and sitting area.

Yesterday at 8:30AM the police came to the new African jungle that had been constructed after the eviction of the Sudanese squat about a month ago to destroy it. They first arrested the twelve people that they found sleeping there and then began to destroy the camp. They destroyed the large structure by tying a rope around the supports and the other end to a car that then drove away, bringing everthing down with it.

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The city workers then again took all of people’s clothes, bags, bedding, bicycles, and waterproof materials from which the shelters were constructed to the dump in a large container. This container was inaccesible yesterday for people to reclaim their belongings as it had been parked too close to another, preventing its doors from opening.

This destruction again took place without the police giving any warning to the people who were living there, despite raiding it regularly over the past few weeks, many times in the same day, to harrass people. In particular, last week one policewoman smashed people’s water bottles, and on Sunday stepped in and kicked over a bowl of food from which people were eating while telling them to go “Go back to your country!”.

Well aware that many people would be observing Ramadan from today onwards, the police didn’t want to be seen to evict and destroy people’s shelters during this time, and so instead opted to destroy it all one day before, including the kitchen that had been built where people were cooking every night.

The police are also controlling again infront of Salam following a fight on Saturday which they did nothing to prevent or stop. Instead they use the event as a pretext to harrass and search everyone who comes to get food, and were yesterday even controlling for papers which is illegal. Because of this harrassment many people are choosing not to come to take food at Salam and so are having to forego the only meal that they are given in the day.