An attempted forced eviction of a working man from his home in West Belfast was this morning stopped and repelled by activists of the Irish Republican Socialist Party.
The man, a low wage worker from the Divis area had fallen victim to the new Tory/Stormont imposed Universal Credit system which left him without vital Housing Benefit payments and saw him fall into arrears with a commercial landlord association.
Early this morning (11/12/19) hired Baillifs, court enforcement officers and several car loads of PSNI/RUC swooped on the mans home and announced their intention to evict him on the spot, even declaring their intention to impound his car and furniture; a furniture removal van was brought to the rear of his house.
Having remembered the successful IRSP Anti Eviction Action in Divis last year (in which the party successfully saw off the attempted eviction of a working single mother) the man quickly got in touch with party activists who within minutes had left their own workplaces and homes to confront the unwelcome thugs and to leave them in no uncertain terms that they had to leave the district or attract more Millitant protest. Concerned local residents were also called upon to attend which many did.
Following a stand off which lasted around 45 minutes, and during which the PSNI illegally entered the mans home, it was made clear to baillifs that the IRSP were minded to mobilise hundreds to prevent what they were attempting to enforce upon the people of Divis and that by hook or by crook the man would by back in his home by that evening
Following some pretend attempts by Baillifs to ‘stand their ground’, along with a threat from the PSNI that they could get “300 reinforcements at a moment’s notice”, the eviction team were eventually advised by Police to pull out of the district due to “security concerns” as more angry IRSP activists poured into the area eager to prevent what would simply be an unacceptable sight for Republican Socialists.
Speaking after the successful act of resistance, local IRSP spokesperson Michael Kelly stated “Our party have once again repelled an unacceptable eviction in the streets of Divis, clearly demonstrating how in these matters, direct action is the way forward”.
He continued “One wonders why this area is being singled out by the courts and Baillifs for forced evictions in the first place. My concern is that in the run up to March 2020 and the end of the mitigation payments, Universal Credit and the Bedroom tax will see landlords and housing associations push for evictions accross the board. Are they using this as a test run? Are they thinking if they get away with it in Divis they can get away with it anywhere? Well today the IRSP showed them they wont be getting away with it in Divis, nor anywhere else that our party has a presence”.
The IRSP calls on all working class districts to join with them in organising to prevent any such Anti-Irish, Anti-Working class evictions, as we face into a new year of savage Tory/Stormont austerity.