Squatters have moved into stinking rich movie maker Guy Ritchie’s enormous £6 million mansion, located in London’s upmarket Fitzroy Square.
At least 12 people are thought to have taken over the Grade I-listed house, setting up the Really Free School in protest at rising tuition fees.
The new residents of Mr Ritchie’s des res have already set up a full schedule of events, with films, workshops, discussions and more – check out their calendar here.
They’ve also got a wish-list of items they need – get down and contribute something if you’re in the area!
Lurking outside was a small pack of press photographers. Bless.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to pay them a visit but hope to do so over the next couple of days. You get an answerphone message if you call this number.
What The Really Free School has done is take a house that was not being used and created a space where ordinary people could get together and learn from each other and draw attention to the state of education in Britain. Instead, the press focussed laser-like on the fact the house is owned by film maker Guy Ritchie.
None of the press reported that the School had previously occupied an empty house in Bloomsbury Square, put on educational events, left peacefully and returned the place undamaged without its owner having to go to court to seek possession. Neither did the press take much interest in the many progressive activities that are taking place in the School in Fitzroy Square.
A BBC reporter took exception to being thrown out when he was rumbled and The Telegraph grumbled about not being let in. Why do the press think they have a right to be inside when they are clearly incapable of reporting facts that are there for all to see or can’t be bothered to look for?
In reporting this news story they have not only done a disservice to the creative and inspiring young men and women who have set up this free school but also to the thousands of people living in Fitzrovia and the many hard-working voluntary organisations which try to relieve poverty and improve the lot of ordinary people.
These young people are a credit to their generation and we would do well, in the short time that they will be in Fitzrovia, to listen to their voices and embrace their enthusiasm for trying to bring about a better society.
Really Free School update: Friday 18th – eviction looms:
Our time in this space may be coming to an end, but it is by no means the end of the cultural significance that is the historically reoccurring idea of the freeschool.
From 6 o’clock onwards Friday 18th February, there will be a massive street soiree to celebrate and continue this temporary autonomous zone, before Richie Rich’s latest purchase gets turned into yet another rich man’s cliché.
Bring a dish and join us in the square; expect games, musical minstrels, the tinkling of ivories, song and dance, hood talk, a banquet, a radical history tour & more.
It never was about mansions, nor b-list bad film makers – zhumba continues to spread, join us on the streets and let this joyous celebration be known to one and all!
Let’s make this last 4eva.
See you on the streets.
Info: Notes for squatters