Suspenses Raj Against the Machine

'Tigers' on the prowl at Dalston Junction. Photograph: Arta Kane

A Halloween party by a group of squatters and entertainers is being held in Dalston as part of a campaign to show the many ways empty buildings can be re-used.

Referring to themselves as The Suspenses, they have recently been filmed for an upcoming ITV documentary with Richard Madeley and so-called architect of the squat ban, Mike Weatherley MP.

Last week the collective took to the streets around Dalston dressed as ‘tiger people’ to prepare locals for this Saturday’s ‘Raj Against the Machine’ party – a not-for-profit event that promises a wide range of entertainment including Bollywood dancers, live music, performance art and street poetry.

The aim of these ‘urban regenerators’ is to bring communities together by taking what is left over and unused by those who can afford to waste valuable resources and re-use them more intelligently for the benefit of all.

They hope their Halloween party can inspire people to think of more creative ways public spaces and empty buildings can be used productively, such as turning them in to free workshops, tutorials and studios.

Giving his reasoning behind the tiger masks and party, The Suspenses’ tiger-in-chief, Gee, said: “It doesn’t matter what colour or creed you are if you are a tiger – and right now society needs as many as it can get. It’s us against the government and corporate machines that try to control what we do for their own profit.”

Raj Against the Machine starts at 8pm this Saturday 27 October, at Hysteria, Kingsland Road, Dalston. Admission: £5 advance, £7 on door.

Support us


The coronavirus outbreak has meant that the Hackney Citizen has been unable to print a monthly newspaper for the last three months.

The need for quality news and reliable reporting is crucial - however, this is an increasingly challenging time for local journalism.

Our main source of income, print advertising revenue, fell suddenly - and so we are asking you, the readers, for your help.A one-off donation from anyone who can afford it will help our small team get our newspaper back in print and keep the website and social media feeds running through this unprecedented crisis.

Find out how you can donate.

Thanks in advance for your support, and stay safe.