Squatters who had occupied Paddington Green police station, the UK’s former counter-terror policing hub, have been evicted after holding the building for three weeks.
“More than 60 bailiffs, police and private security stormed the building just past seven o’clock in the morning,” the squatters said on their website.
“The eviction order was granted by the high court in the past week, explicitly mentioning the disruption the squat has caused to police firearms training in the building.”
Police said bailiffs accompanied by officers evicted 11 people from the building “without incident” and that the site had now “been secured”.
Squatters from a number of anarchist and radical environmentalist groups seized control of Paddington Green three weeks ago, in the name of the Green Anti-Capitalist Front (Gaf).
The occupation of what was at one point said to be Europe’s highest-security police station was a major embarrassment for the Metropolitan police. Squatters graffitied the names of men and women killed in police custody along the building’s façade, and spelled out “no justice, no peace” – a slogan of justice campaigns – in the windows of its tower.
They discovered that the site had been used for urban warfare firearms training by police or special forces. Among the detritus, which included bullet casings and grenade pins, was a photo of a man of south Asian appearance that had been used for target practice.
The Met said the photo, supplied by McQueen targets and named as “Raj” in their online brochure, was used “to assess whether the person is a potential threat or not”. The force claimed it was “one of many used by police forces … featuring persons of a range of ages, genders and races”, but no targets featuring individuals of other ethnicities were found in Paddington Green.
Gaf had aimed to use Paddington Green as a base for a week of radical protest around climate and environmental issues, but switched the venue to an alternative squat after a court made the eviction order.
The coalition, formed by members of groups including the Anarchist Federation, the Industrial Workers of the World, Reclaim the Power and XR Youth, is intended as a more radical alternative to Extinction Rebellion.