Being strongly opposed to all evictions, yesterday I attended a protest in Beaumont Leys with some fifty other people (who had travelled from around the country) to block the bailiffs. At the gathering I talked to all manner of concerned people who were shocked and outraged at how the banks worked in collusion with local Councils and the government to throw people out on the street.
This “anti-eviction party” was one of a series of such gatherings that had already taken place across the region this year. Local Labour Councillor Paul Westley even turned up to show his support. Describing himself as a “radical” within the Council, he pointed out how he had always been a strong advocate of council housing; always opposing Labour’s farcical commitment to building so-called “affordable” housing, which is far from affordable for normal working-class families.
Yet unlike the two Councillors who recently left Labour to form Leicester Independent Councillors Against Cuts, Cllr Westerly continues to vote against the interests of the majority of Leicester’s residents by supporting the Con-Dem cuts in our city. It is clear that he has a choice in this matter of voting for cuts, but he evidently prefers not to rock the boat.
Having apparently succeeded in collectively repelling the bailiffs after spending some two hours in the rain, I popped into the house to use the toilet, and to chat quickly with the resident facing eviction, Cleveland Rhoden. After being regaled with quite a confusing story about his grievance with the banks and the courts, it was fair to say that he was adamant he would resist what he considered to be the fraudulent practice of the banks and the legal courts. The facebook group advertising the protest briefly surmised:
“Contrary to the requirements of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989, the mortgage contract relating to Cleveland’s home was not signed at all rendering it void ab initio.”
With the small number of people gathered together in his front-room I was informed that socialism would never work, and that I was naïve for not knowing that the Russian Revolution (of 1917) had been funded by bankers after all?! When I mentioned more recent popular uprisings, like those taking place in Greece, Hong Kong, or the Arab Spring, I was firmly told that all popular uprising were funded (read: organized) by the bankers.
Such a bizarre take on history reminded me quite a bit of the popular ramblings of leading conspiracy theorist David Icke — of whom I have written about at some length earlier this year (e.g., see my article “Ruling-Class Aliens“). This link was solidified when I returned home to look at the web site of the group that had helped organise the anti-eviction party, the group being “Home Eviction Lawful Prevention (HELP) RESPONSE.” This is because on the “VIDEOS” page of their web site they have links to just three videos, the first of which is titled “David Icke talks about housing foreclosures and what to do.”
The second interesting video on their web site is about Guy Taylor’s ongoing dispute regarding his eviction from Bodenham Manor in Herefordshire, where in the past he and his wife have hosted all manner of events for alien contactees (or experiencers as they prefer to put it). Mr Taylor was at yesterdays eviction protest, as was a fellow conspiracy theorist going by the name of Ceylon, who is the founder of the web site getoutofdebtfree.org who was busy chatting nonsense at the 2013 Freeman conference last year. Getoutofdebtfree is a project whose mission is apparently heavily inspired by libertarian criticisms of fractional reserve banking as explained in this one-off article published in The Guardian by Ceylon’s fellow getoutofdebtfree cofounder, Jon Witterick
Both Ceylon and Guy Taylor appear to be the key organizers behind the current spate of HELP RESPONSE anti-eviction protests, as is fellow anti-eviction freeman-activist Tom Crawford, who was politely explaining the nature of their activities yesterday. All three are clearly upset with mainstream politics, and have committed themselves to something know as the Lawful Rebellion movement; the same being true for the individual who hosted the facebook event for the Leicester protest (Ross Farrell).
This latest libertarian Lawful Rebellion movement is being led by the British Constitution Group, which was founded by Roger Hayes. According to the British Constitution Group’s web site they are “calling for Lawful Rebellion, as is our right under article 61 Magna Carta 1215.” Roger Hay’s “anti-establishment” background has of course been concretely realised through his expulsion from UKIP. Another key individual connected with this Group is Brian Gerrish who runs the conspiracy news outlet UK Column, which has been actively promoting the freeman-related anti-eviction events. The right-wing tinge of folk associated with this media outlet is best exemplified by UK Column’s political analyst, Patrick Henningsen, who recently acted as the Associate Editor of the alternative news site run by leading libertarian conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
It is of course excellent news that people are willing to come together to oppose evictions, but it is less wonderful that HELP RESPONSE is organizing such protests, particularly given some of their leaders delight in promoting right-wing conspiracy theories. Certainly grassroots community action to prevent people being evicted from their homes needs to be taken, but not for esoteric legal reasons, like those latched upon by the Lawful Rebellion movement.
On the other hand, groups like the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and Leicester Independent Councillors Against Cuts are keen to work to prevent all evictions, whatever their nature, and will strive to work with and help organize local communities to send bailiff’s packing: underlining their commitment to work to address the needless economic reasons for evictions in the first place.