Today in Derry members of the IRSP became aware that an EJO (Enforcement of Judgements Office) officer, accompanied by the PSNI, locksmiths, a removal company and so called enforcement officials attempted to seize a property in the city which was occupied by a local family.
As a result of a request for help our activists immediately mobilised and put out a call for others to come to the family’s aid. Many local people turned up, as did political activists from a range of groups. Among those who turned out as well were local independent councillors, Warren Robinson, Darren O’Reilly, Gary Donnelly and Sean Carr.
When officials were questioned as to what housing provision was being made for this young family, who were caught up in something unrelated to them as they are tenants and have no financial interest in the property the answer was “none”.
During this operation the street was sealed off by the PSNI and following a number of tense hours in which the family’s belongings were stolen and put into a removal van and steel shutters were being prepared for the doors and windows of the property a reprieve was won.
Our activists at all times remained within the property with the family, we advised and helped and put them in touch with relevant activists with expertise in this field. Eventually it was able to be proven that the so called documents that were the basis for this property seizure were worthless and not compliant.
This forced the court officials to call off their seizure….. for now. We suspect that they will return and we will be ready for them. We cannot allow bailiffs and banks to throw families onto the street in this heartless manner. We commend all those who came to the family’s aid today, it was a victory for ordinary people against the greed of the banks and court officials.