Photo by Peter Marshall
On Saturday 12th August, as part of our ongoing strategy of linking up with grassroots housing activists, I attended the March of the towers: Resistance in the East End! protest organised by Focus E15 – https://www.facebook.com/focuse15/ – and supported by a healthy range of groups and individuals. The march started at Ferrier Point in Canning Town, went on from there to Tanner Point in Plaistow and finished up at the Carpenters Estate in Stratford. Both Ferrier Point and Tanner Point have cladding similar to that used at Grenfell Tower – understandably, residents of both blocks are fearful about what could happen and frustrated at being messed around by Newham Council. The Carpenters Estate is being depopulated by the same council in a cynical bid to offload it and trouser a huge wedge from a developer.
It wasn’t the biggest march (in terms of numbers) I’ve been on this year but certainly the most passionate and for it’s size, pretty damn loud as well. It was visually impressive with the banners and the smoke flares, particularly as we were coming into Stratford. Loads of flyers were handed out to the people we passed by to let them know what was going on and why we were marching. This should be standard practice on marches but sadly it ain’t – credit to Focus E15 for doing this and spreading the message.
It was great to be not marching alongside the usual suspects but with feisty working class people for a change. It was also good to see Movement For Justice – https://www.facebook.com/movementforjustice/ – and East End Sisters Uncut – https://www.facebook.com/eastendsistersuncut/ – amongst others coming along to support the march. This shows that a diverse range of groups can effectively work together as and when the need arises. This fits in with our support for making alliances as and when the need arises without getting hung up about ideological purity.
Also, there were no cops intervening at any point…brilliant! ‘Whose Streets? Our Streets!’ actually had some serious meaning yesterday…
All in all, it was a good day where alliances were formed and strengthened and morale raised. We’re more than happy to continue to continue to offer our solidarity to Focus E15 and the other groups who stand alongside them…
Dave (the editor)
We’ll be going along to this to show our solidarity with housing struggles in East London: March of the towers! https://www.facebook.com/events/1951128301839783/
Date: Saturday August 12th
Join us for a march and speak out to demand safe homes, not social cleansing in East London.
The flats of Ferrier Point and Tanner Point are both tower blocks with the same cladding as Grenfell Tower. Carpenters Estate in Stratford is marked for demolition by Newham Labour council.
Let us meet to raise the issues of secure housing in our local community and demand that the council provides suitable housing for residents.
Meet 12 midday: Ferrier Point, Forty Acre Lane, Canning Town E16 and/or 1pm: Tanner Point, Pelly Road, Plaistow E13.
From there we will be marching to the Carpenters Estate, Stratford E15.
And from 2.30pm we will be having a ‘hands around the Carpenters Estate’ solidarity event and speak out with residents to organise resistance to decanting, demolition and social cleansing.
Take action to defend people’s right to homes and safety.
Join us at Midday, bring your banners and your voices and your hearts!
As we’ve written and said more times than we care to remember, what happens in London with social cleansing as a consequence of ‘regeneration’ in the service of making the capital a welcome home for the global super rich and their money has a direct impact on us out here along the estuary. This is why we show solidarity with housing activists in London fighting this tide of social cleansing from the capital – as far as we’re concerned, the housing struggle, regardless of where it takes place, is one struggle.