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The following account was submitted to us by Tristan. We reprint it here with his permission. The Campus Co-op house where he lives was raided by police on saturday june 26th, he learned what happened from talking to a neighbour. He wrote a diary entry on the first raid:
When [the neighbour] arrived home she noticed armed police with guns drawn prowling through ours and her backyard.
When she looked out front she saw 8 cop cars. She asked what they were doing, they said they were responding to a break and enter report.
They said a rifle and two police cars were lost and they had to respond to break and enters in the area "very seriously". She said its a co-op house, someone probably just forgot their keys.
The police questioned the two people who were in the house. [they were house guests.] They couldn't remember the names of anyone in the house, and the police didn't believe they were rightfully staying here, so they arrested them on a break and enter charge. This makes me very angry on account of them being completely in their right to stay in my house.
I would like the police to produce evidence that there really was a
break and enter report, and I would like to speak to the person who
made the report.
I would like [the two people who ] to be released as soon as possible on account of them being entirely innocent of the charges, because they in fact do have permission to stay here from all the members of the house.
Later in the day when Tristan was at the house, the police raided the house again.
Dairy of second police raid 10:21pm
They barged in the backdoor, without knocking. They did not respond to claims that we did not consent to their presence on the property.
They claimed they did not need permission to be on the property or any kind of warrant because they were investigating a break and enter.
They herded us into the blue room (living room) because we outnumbered them. I explained to them that the house was owned co-operatively, and that I was a member of the house, and that the guests were here as my guests, and that we had a house meeting where we decided democratically that we would host these people.
They searched many bags, including bags in the living room. They
claimed this was part of investigating the break and enter.
They spoke to me as a representative of the house, and they respected by position as person who could speak for the house. [I proved to them I was a resident of the house.] I also showed them the sign with the Rochedale principles of co-operation, our cork board with co-op stuff on it, and the fire exit map. They said they had encountered campus-coop houses before, so it was not difficult to explain our situation.
This whole time they continued searching bags. One police officer went through bags in the green room (living room) and found a gas mask. [a friend of the house hold who was present] loudly said "We do not consent to this search! This search has nothing to do with the break and enter report!".
At some point they asked me if there was someone in the basement. I didn't know, so I said "The house has a basement".
They finished their search and eventually left.
Tristan informed us that the two people who were charged with break and enter have since been released.
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