Will Sadiq Khan step in to save the day?
Developers took over the beloved, socially conscious arts venue back in June, changing the locks without legal paperwork. Venue staff and local activists later broke in, performing a common law eviction and occupying the space. Events have continued to run as usual.
However, last night (August 16) close to 50 bailiffs turned up and took control of the building, installing metal shutters on the doors and windows to prevent any further reoccupations.
Passing Clouds has been struggling with property developers Landhold Developments for the past few months. After secretly purchasing the building, Landhold initially informed the venue that it had no intention of selling the property. Soon afterwards though, the company informed Passing Clouds that it would be turning the building into their offices, and Passing Clouds had until May to vacate the property.
Club owner Eleanor Wilson was taken to court by her new landlords last week, with protestors turning up at Clerkenwell County Court before the hearing was adjourned. But as of today, the venue’s fate has been sealed and eviction is now a reality.
Wilson is reportedly considering a High Court challenge to the eviction ruling, while supporters are urging London mayor Sadiq Khan to step in, using the #passingcloudsforever hashtag on Twitter. Yesterday, Khan responded to rallying cries over Fabric’s recent closure, urging the Metropolitan police and Islington Council to come together with Fabric and work something out.