Tuesday, March 20, 1984

Black flag

I got up at a quarter to eight with Alex: he and Ben began their jobs today working with Harry, an ex-Special Branch cop, the same Harry who fixed up our single outside tap. They’re working three days a week, plastering walls and doing building repairs.

I walked to the bank, drew out £7 and bought myself a breakfast at Bunyan’s Snack Bar before going into University and getting a promised loan of £90 from the Link-Up offices. We’re getting the money in order to connect the gas and we’ll have five weeks to repay it. The day developed into one of those hazy muggy afternoons, no wind and a bleached out sun, everyone moving slowly in the warmth. I felt tired for some reason.

When I got back I found Gav, Barry, Pete and Lee waiting the arrival of TVS cameras, but Morris rolled up later to tell us it had been postponed a day. The piece on Radio Watermouth was broadcast at eight minutes past eight this morning and took the expected ‘squatting-isn’t-all-dirty-hippies-and-irresponsible-druggies’ angle. Morris said in his interview that all prospective squatters are screened “at least half-a-dozen times in pub, office abd café situations” (!). Nathalie’s exit was mentioned obliquely with reference to “one resident whose behaviour wasn’t up to scratch.”

She seems to have recovered her composure since we threw her out and even smiled at Lee when she saw him on the bus. It’s all coming together very well.

Two members of an anarchist squat who dropped by unexpectedly seemed taken aback at the organisation of this place and couldn’t believe it when they heard that councillors, an MP and even a Bishop may be rallied to our defence. They told us were kicked out of one house a day after announcing their arrival by hoisting black flags, and they have just 48 hours to leave their current place. I’d met one of them as I hitched back from University and he said they’re going to squat Watermouth Planning Dept. offices tonight, so I told him how to get in through the open toilet window. As I climbed out of the car he said to me, by way of farewell, “if you see a big black anarchist flag hanging from one of the windows you’ll know it’s us.”

They’ll get kicked out every time.

I rang Mum in the evening. She said that Robert is depressed that he’s thirty and that he only got three cards for his birthday. Luckily I remembered to send him one.

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