Class War have called a protest at The Shard to highlight the obscenity of the existence of tower after tower of empty luxury apartments – all too often acting as investment vehicles for the super rich – while London is experiencing a severe housing and homelessness crisis. In particular, Class War want to draw attention to the many survivors of last year’s Grenfell Tower disaster who are still stuck in inadequate temporary accommodation while the capital is awash with empty apartments. The Shard was picked because it’s an iconic* building and a high profile example of the problem with its empty luxury apartments.
Then, the owners of The Shard got wind of the planned protest and sent in the solicitors. This situation is ongoing so it’s best we don’t make any comment which may inadvertently prejudice the situation for Class War in general and Ian Bone in particular. However, there has been plenty of media coverage since the solicitors got involved so we’ll present what we’ve seen so far here and we’re sure you’ll be able to draw your own conclusions.
Shard owners seek to ban protest by Class War activist (The Guardian) – https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/06/shard-owners-seek-to-ban-protest-by-class-war-activist
Qatari royals in High Court threat to South Norwood pensioners (Inside Croydon) – https://insidecroydon.com/2018/02/06/qatari-royals-in-high-court-threat-to-south-norwood-pensioners/
Shard’s Qatari owners try to halt pensioner class war activist from holding ‘ghost towers’ protest (RT) – https://www.rt.com/uk/418034-shard-protest-court-grenfell/
It’s fairly certain that there will be more media coverage of this. We’ll allow ourselves one little comment… If the owners of The Shard thought that a court summons for an injunction hearing would nip this protest in the bud then it has to be said that their efforts are an epic fail! The media are picking up not just on the story about the injunction but also on the issue of the empty investment apartments that led to the protest getting called. Whatever the owners of The Shard do from now on, the story is out there and they’ll be fighting an increasingly desperate rearguard battle to stifle it.
As far as we can make out, unless the owners of The Shard and their solicitors can conjure some pretty draconian restrictions to apply to a large area surrounding the building, a protest will be taking place this Thursday evening from 6pm onwards. One that is likely to be a lot bigger than initially anticipated owing to the shit storm generated by the actions of the owners and their solicitors. We will be in attendance at this one – given what we’ve had to say on the impact of the social cleansing of London on the housing situation out along the Thames estuary, it would be rude of us to not attend.
Given how desperate the owners are to nip this one in the bud, we would advise those attending the protest to be wary of any attempts to sabotage, undermine and discredit the action. Bear in mind the very, very close proximity of the offices of The Times and The S*n to the proposed location of the protest.
* Personally, we think it’s a feckin’ eyesore and a massive monument to hubris!