By Linus Rees
Police and supporters of the Really Free School were called to The Black Horse in Rathbone Place at around 3.00 pm today after fears for the personal safety of those occupying the pub. A text message was sent by members of the Really Free School after “heavies” acting apparently on behalf of the pub’s owners forced their way in and tried to remove them.
However, when supporters of the school turned up the bailiffs retreated back to their vehicle which was parked illegally and had been ticketed.
A message sent by the Really Free School said: “Bailiffs have forced there way into the building and are refusing to leave. If you can’t get down call the police and complain.”
Students also arrived at the school to attend classes only to find the police and a bouncer on the door preventing them from entering. No eviction notice had been served and members of the Free School were talking to the police inside the building. A police officer told Fitzrovia News that they were trying to deal with the situation peacefully.
Police later left the building leaving the bailiffs and heavies some of them who were in the building. Members of the school appealed for help using Twitter and more supporters arrived.
As support grew for the school and members of the Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association arrived, some of the heavies were prevented from trying to force their way in. Eventually the bailiffs left and returned to their vehicle to find it had been ticketed by parking wardens.
The Really Free School had left their previous home in Fitzroy Square peacefully after been ordered to leave by a court. They then moved to the Black Horse pub, 6 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia, on Friday evening. They have occupied the pub which has been empty since last November and have been organising classes and other activities.