Occupy Sheffield has Taken Possession of the Former Salvation Army Citadel – 28th December 2011 Statement

Occupy Sheffield has taken possession of the former Salvation Army Citadel (at Cross Burgess Street, Sheffield) on the basis of a so-called ‘Section 6′ notice [1]. The building has lain idle since 1999, and has been open and unsecured for over two months. Occupy Sheffield will make the building safe and secure and will then open it for public use. Occupy Sheffield will be inviting any community groups that have lost the ability to pay for a space due to funding cuts to come and make use of the building. The building has been renamed ‘The Citadel of Hope’.

The original Occupy Sheffield encampment outside Sheffield Cathedral will remain in situ. ‘The Citadel of Hope’ will not be an open residential occupation, but will be crewed at all times. People wishing to join the residential encampment at Sheffield Cathedral should continue to do so. Until such time as the building has been made safe, Occupy Sheffield will make all decisions relating to the building through the General Assembly meeting held daily at 6.30pm on the Cathedral forecourt. All are welcome.

The Citadel of Hope will operate the same ‘Safer Spaces’ policy [2] that is in place at the main encampment – among other things, the Citadel will be alcohol and drug free, and those who transgress this policy will be asked to leave.

In addition to facilitating community groups suffering at the hands of government cuts, The Citadel of Hope will provide a further platform the Occupy movement in Britain to campaign for economic justice, and will be host to the National Occupy Conference on the 21st and 22nd of January 2012.

Occupy Sheffield would like to make clear that it is protesting against the casino capitalism that has laid the real economy low; it is protesting that those who created this crisis have so far got away without legal sanction and continue to do so; it is protesting that this same tiny minority (‘the 1%’) are continuing to enrich themselves while the rest of the population (‘the 99%’) are made to suffer their failures [3]. Occupy Sheffield would like to make clear, that it is not protesting against any Church or Church group.

We believe that there is an alternative to the tired mantras of Thatcherism, and that the evidence for the need to change is playing out in front of our eyes.

The Citadel of Hope is a place where you can come and be informed, be inspired and be involved in a global movement [4] which is advocating for a more just society, run for the benefit of all.

Occupy Sheffield is a transparent, non-hierarchical, volunteer organisation which is made possible by people giving their time and energy in support of a cause in which they believe. Most people have jobs, and most people are not able to be involved all the time.

If you believe that it is time to articulate an alternative to this destructive turbo-charged capitalism then The Citadel of Hope needs you.

Occupy Sheffield / The Citadel of Hope

[1] A section 6 notice governs the legal status and civil proceedings that an unoccupied building is subject to. These are civil matters. No act of criminality has occurred in possessing this building.

[2] Safer spaces policy https://occupywiki.org.uk/wiki/Sheffield/Safer_Spaces_Policy

[3] http://www.publicfinance.co.uk/news/2011/12/child-poverty-to-increase-following-autumn-statement-warns-ifs/ and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10604117

[4] http://www.occupybritain.org/ | http://www.occupytogether.org/ | http://www.occupylsx.org/ | http://www.occupywallstreet.org/