Property developers left in no doubt as to what we think of them

(Thanks to Lolly for the photo)

Last night (4.4) saw the annual Property Developer Awards at the Grosvenor House hotel on Park Lane in London. This is where all of the developers who are ripping the heart out of London with their complicity in social cleansing get together to congratulate each other and celebrate their ‘achievements’. This year, the award went to Savills who are playing a major role in offering ‘advice’ on the ‘regeneration’ of council estates. Note the use of quotation marks around the words ‘advice’ and ‘regeneration’ – the result of the intervention of the likes of Savills leads to the replacement of a significant amount of social housing by unaffordable private accommodation and the tearing apart of communities as residents are relocation to the fringes of London and beyond.

Well last night, the developers got a little taste of how pissed off and angry people are at seeing the estates, pubs, cafes, shops, etc. that make up the fabric of their lives torn down to be replaced by yet more swanky apartment developments that act as little more than investment opportunities for the already super rich. A lively, noisy, irreverent and militant picket outside Grosvenor House left the attendees of the awards ceremony in no doubt as to what those on the receiving end of their ‘developments’ think of them. The pile of steaming horse manure left at the entrance was a particularly eloquent expression of what we think of these parasites. Many thanks to the Sexual Avengers ( who called the action and everyone else who turned up, including our mates from Class War. What made the action even better was the complete absence of Trots and paper sellers who always end up acting as a fire safety blanket when it comes to protests and actions – they weren’t missed!

Maybe, just maybe the tide is starting to turn in our favour. With the removal of the developers’ apologist, Dave Hill from the columns of the Guardian and more critical pieces like this one from Oliver Wainwright appearing: The property billboards that reveal the truth about Britain’s luxury housing market it could be that certain sections of the mainstream media are starting to wake up to the extent of the problem. Every little bit helps although we’re not expecting the likes of the London Evening Standard to ever come round to our way of thinking any time soon!

Last night was about us putting our money where our mouth is – going into London to show practical solidarity with housing struggle activists fighting the developers in the capital. As we’ve written before, what happens in London with ‘regeneration’ and social cleansing has a direct impact on us out here on the estuary and beyond as well: The housing domino effect… The housing struggle in London is our struggle out here – we cannot and will not be split apart by the divide and rule merchants who would rather distract us and have us fighting and blaming each other…