Thursday 8th January 2004
All content © New Journal Enterprises, 2004.

Centre supporters in party mood

Father Nicholas Wheeler
Priest attacks use of riot squad police to end sit-in
A PRIEST has criticised the handling of the eviction of community workers from a neighbourhood advice service shut down by the Town Hall.
Riot squad police forced their way into the Camden Town Neighbourhood Advice Centre (CTNAC) in Greenland Road last month following a three-week sit-in by protesters.
In dramatic scenes, Barry Sullivan, who runs the centre, staged a seven-hour rooftop protest as police closed the street and surrounded the building.
Father Nicholas Wheeler, of St Michael’s Church in Camden Road and chairman of the centre’s management board, said on Tuesday he had been saddened by the eviction.
“I have been in Camden Town for seven years and I have never seen such large police forces ranged against what are some of the worst drug-dealing spots in the capital,” he said.
“Let alone a group of people struggling to secure the future of the community services that this neighbourhood needs.”
Father Nicholas was speaking at a party held at the Upper Room in Greenland Street, Camden Town, for centre staff and supporters.
He added: “I didn’t hear about what had happened until the afternoon.
“I got to the scene as Barry was coming down from the roof of the centre. My request to be allowed to see him was refused.
“This is the first time I have experienced this kind of rebuttal in my work as a priest and community worker.”
He added: “It has been a hard couple of weeks and people need some encouragement.
“Although the centre is now homeless, we hope that in 2004 we will find a new way for the work to continue.”