News, Apr 14th
Eleven people have been arrested in a midnight raid at London Action Resource Centre (LARC) in Whitechapel, for conspiracy to commit a public nuisance.
According to one witness, more than 40 officers were involved in the action, which found nothing to confiscate. Five people have been released under investigation as of this afternoon, while six others remained in custody, according to the Met.
Update, 15/4: All detainees have been released under investigation, LARC people say some damage was caused to internal doors.
LARC, a radical meeting space which has been used by progressive groups for more than 20 years, appears to have been the victim of a police crackdown operation against green group Just Stop Oil.
The group has mounted a series of highly successful direct actions over the last few weeks alongside Extinction Rebellion as part of its campaign to stop further extraction of fossil fuels.
Talking to Freedom, a Just Stop Oil rep said: “The raid on LARC demonstrates that the Just Stop Oil coalition is effective and is now impacting on the supply of oil to the economy.
The police can raid offices, arrest suspected organisers and pick up teenagers tanker surfing on the top of trucks but we can not stop. Because our government is betraying us, betraying future generations and right now we must stand in solidarity with life itself.”
Political raids on legitimately owned buildings are unusual, and today’s action follows on from a public panic by senior politicians and right media who have accused the group of “guerrilla tactics” after it blockaded oil depots, saying they “wouldn’t tolerate” the protests..
Anyone who has been affected or is a witness can contact the Activist Court Aid Brigade for support.