Rampart. The squat

rampart graf

Rampart Sign

Every social event or project, has as many versions as people participating in it.

My own personal version of Rampart Social Centre would be that it was born, together with many other squats in 2004, out of the need to house hundreds of attendants to he European Social Forum and adjacent alternatives.

The meetings for the preparation of said forum did acknowledge the need, and the problem of accommodating such a big number of people in the most expensive city in the UK, probably Europe.

But the possibility of housing them in squats was mercilessly laughed at in the ESF meetings.

Casual work

My work at The Guardian is called ‘casual’. Because I don’t go there every day, or regularly. I am in the ‘Night Uploaders’ team.

We quickly proof-read the articles, which are already being printed, in case some mistake has slipped the attention of the sub-editors that are specifically employed for such mistake-spotting among other things, and then add some basic html coding and some relevant, pre-determined links. It is done every single night, and every single article published on paper is uploaded to the website, but for these stable jobs The Guardian employs casuals who can not stay employed for longer than ten months in a row to avoid having to contract us as regular employees. So in ten months time, I will need to find income somewhere else, with the option to come back after four months or so.

Visitors meeting

George is my contact on this new NoBorders business. We meet in a bar in zone 2 for a coffee. I thought it weird to have a one to one conversation about volunteering over a coffee, but when I see George he is at a table talking to some five other people. We all introduce each other and then they resume the conversation, which seems to be at the stage of the actual travelling to the detention centre, somewhere in zone 6. (note below)

Priests and privileges

I need to spend a few more days more in Jerusalem. Which doesn’t qualify as time in Palestine, because as I mentioned in this previous post, Jerusalem is no longer considered Palestine by any one who lives there, despite the ‘efforts’ by the ‘international community’ in making it a shared city between two countries … of which only one exists.

Kawawis-Jerusalem. News from Jayyous

I wake up to find myself on my own, so I just get up and eat some of the food I brought with me as breakfast. I hear the sound of an engine and go to see what it is. Two men, one on foot and another one on a tractor, are spreading seeds on the fields around the village.

Critical Mass

A “critical mass” has been happening every month in London for more than eleven years. A critical mass is a demonstration/march on bicycles, along the streets in central London, all together as a mass, in such a way that the traffic needs to accommodate to the bikes’ speed.

The police has never known too well how to stop them from happening, and for various years they chose to tolerate them while policing them. In the last years, various officers would accompany the mass on bikes too.

Palestine plans

The plans to go to Holy Land are taking shape. I do not have a ticket yet, but at least I have decided roughly when I will depart and when to come back. I will be there while I wait for my dream job, which in theory I have already got, but various circumstances have come in the way of my future employers, apparently. In the meantime, I will have to live on the debts I am gracefully acquiring at the moment. It might be a good idea to open an account to ask for donations in various places. Might do.

I am very happy that I can go to Palestine. I do not know why Christians tend to go on a pilgrimage to Rome rather than Jerusalem, Bethlehem or Nazareth. In any case, I choose to get out of Europe, on this occasion.


The camera was focused on the centre of the room, where the girls were. The adults were looking at the scene, enchanted. The older girl with her little pink dress, doing her pranks. The small just one little baby, she looked at her sister with admiration and probably with envy, because in a moment when the older one prepared to jump on to the stool, there jumped the small one, stealing the limelight without trying.


I have got a new bed, thanks to freecycle (http://freecycle.org). It is brilliant. It is a mailing list where people basically announce what they want, or want to give out, and whoever who might be interested, writes an e-mail to get it. Depending on what they offer, the announcer will receive a lot of emails. The one who is offering decides to whom he gives. The one receiving has to provide the transport.

Thanks to this I have a decent bed instead of a futon taken from the skip on two pallets also taken from the skip. What a luxury.


I have needed to make a copy of the most important key of my house, the one we only lock when there is no one left. The first problem comes when no one knows exactly who has the original key. And it goes on when you get to the key cut shop. The one making the copies tells you that the model she’s going to use is the last one she has of it – so you are very lucky indeed today – because it is a very old model that is no longer manufactured.