Baile House Occupation Urgently Threatened
On Wednesday 24th November, Baile Hoose has its day in court. The occupation, which currently holds space at the site of the old Hamish Allan Centre in Tradeston, Glasgow, began during the COP26 climate change conference with the aim of providing housing for climate justice activists who had been excluded from the proceedings of the official event. During the conference, the occupation hosted, in the words of the organisers, “hundreds… and helped their voices to be heard.” While the COP26 has been and gone, Baile Hoose intend to continue the occupation as a broad community space. Pointing to the previous role of the Hamish Allan Centre as overnight accommodation for asylum seekers, Baile Hoose are explicit in their intention to protest the housing crisis through practical action, providing “much needed shelter and a vital community network.”
However, this week the future of Baile Hoose is in jeopardy. Glasgow City Council are taking the occupation to court on the 24th, seeking possession of the site of the former Hamish Allan Centre and the removal of the usual obligation to provide a 21 day notice period before eviction- This would allow the council to proceed immediately to clearing Baile Hoose from their premises in Tradeston. The organisers fear that, due to the rapidity of the court battle, it will be difficult for them to find adequate legal support on short notice.
In their latest press release, Betty, a spokesperson for Baile Hoose, said:
“We continue to occupy Baile Hoose in protest against the lack of accessible and emergency accommodation in Glasgow. We recognise that Glasgow City Council are in a position where they are chronically and unacceptably underfunded. Time and time again public services are shut down and public assets sold off in an attempt to balance the books.
However, this only deepens the problem. We cannot continue reliving this story whilst poverty continues to grow. This community asset has been empty for over 3 years. If not brought back into use, it risks being sold to private developers who continue to profit off the systematic destruction of community spaces in Glasgow. Instead these buildings need to be brought back up to standard so they can be run by the community, for the community. We urgently ask the community and politicians to speak out in support of allowing unused public buildings to the public.
“The police have harassed and raided us, but we have remained resilient, and our presence in this building has been an asset to the community. It is unacceptable that the council are attempting to disregard their obligation to give notice to its occupants. We demand Glasgow City Council drop this attempt to sidestep their duty of care and stop obstructing community use of public buildings.”
To cover the costs of this sudden legal challenge, Baile Hoose have launched a crowdfunder. It can be found at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/Bailehoose
For further information, the occupation can be contacted at: