Below are a couple of memes we’ve created in the hope of encouraging some resistance to the wave of social cleansing in the name of ‘regeneration’ across London. Click the link below the image for an A4 PDF of each one. Please feel free to use, share and ideally, implement:)
This piece came to us via one of our comrades in Haringey. We’re reproducing it here as a graphic illustration of what happens when faith is placed in voting and for newly elected councillors to do the right thing – disappointment inevitably follows. Given the estates in question that now face demolition with communities being broken up and residents dispersed far and wide, we suspect anger will be following this disappointment…
There are serious rumblings of discontent within the ranks of Labour Party members/door knockers/vote beggars in Haringey. Through an indicative vote, over 70% of them showed a preference for an anti-HDV (Haringey Development Vehicle) candidate to be selected as leader of the council. Those members were of course completely ignored by the new ‘left-wing’ councillors which proceeded to choose yet another long-term careerist gravy-train rider – one who has a very patchy record on social cleansing and working with developers, Joseph Ejiofor (Business Development Consultant).
The whole anti-HDV campaign was in effect hijacked by the notion that once we get ‘left wing’ councillors, and once previous leader and scab Claire Kober (now working for property developers) and general housing/regeneration Oxbridge tosser Alan Strickland (now working for property developers) had been deposed, those new ‘left wing’ councillors would act with some integrity. They might actually choose to fight for the people that they are supposed to represent – instead of which, surprise surprise, they’ve all turned out to be spineless wankers who will never stand up and fight the government on cuts or ‘regeneration’ or social cleansing. They will never attempt to mobilise the community in defiance of shit Tory policies. They will continue to play the same dog-eared political games.
In the statement about Broadwater Farm, yet more career minded politicians, mouth the same soul-destroying platitudes and use the same empty rhetoric of ‘regeneration’ and ‘consultation’, as used by Strickland and Kober and countless other Labour clones across London.
The HDV campaign never made serious inroads into the affected estates precisely because it was tied to the Labour Party and the Labour Party on the streets of Tottenham and on those estates after decades of managed decline, is a fucking joke. There was a 38.7% turnout at the local elections in Haringey, which means the tiny minority of the electorate who actually voted Labour, handed power to yet more ambitious, inadequate creatures to run our town hall (actually they’ve sold our town hall and it’s going to be ‘re-imagined’ by off-shore developers as a ‘Boutique Hotel’).
That minority of voters gave them the authority to further flog off our property that was fought for over generations, to parasite developers and greedy bastard landlords. They authorised them to privatise and cut the rest of our services, to raise council-tax to unaffordable levels and to give themselves huge pay-rises. The Labour Party have been in power in this borough for more than 60 years and the end result of a one party state, is a despicable pastiche of what a socialist society should look like.
Fuck the cowards at Haringey Labour Council – they have sold, and will continue to sell, their undemocratic, moribund, arses into total obsolescence.
Direct Action. Mutual Aid. Grass Roots Democracy.
The working visit of Trump to the UK on 13-14th July has predictably generated a lot of excitement in many sections of the left and also in a fair few sections of the anarchist movement as well. There’s already discussion and debate about what form the protests against Trump’s visit should take. Suffice to say, it looks as though there will be a variety of actions and protests to mark the occasion. It’s also a reasonable assumption that whatever takes place on the streets in central London will be met with a heavy police presence. One that could well drain police resources away from other areas of the capital and from surrounding counties.
Let’s play a game of imagining what could happen with a mass of cops in central London and the rest of the capital somewhat short of cops on the streets. What if there were enough motivated class struggle activists across the capital who could see the opportunity provided by the distraction of the protests against Trump, and the cops diverted to police them, to use the 13-14th July to undertake actions that will aid our class? It’s not hard to draw up a list of issues that could be highlighted by a series of nimble, well planned, creative actions if you want a bit of a thought experiment.
Purely as an exercise, these are these are the ones we’ve thought of. Abandoned council estates awaiting the right offer from a developer that could be re-occupied. High end estate agents complicit in the agenda of making London a welcome home for the super rich while ordinary people are socially cleansed from the capital – could it be that they may experience some creative ‘inconvenience’? Housing associations actively complicit in socially cleansing people from London being paid a visit by people who refuse to be moved away from friends, family and support networks? Exploitative outsourcing companies who treat their precarious workforce like dirt perhaps being given a lesson in manners? The list could go on if you really want it to…
The point we’re trying to make, without getting done for incitement, is that a) in situations like this, the left and a fair number of anarchists could do with being a lot less predictable and knee jerk reflexive and b) we need actions that advance our class interests rather than those that make the participants feel good about themselves but have no impact on the real world.
Image taken from Brooke House Residents Basildon Facebook group
The above image is of the top of a window falling away from the wall in one of the flats in Brooke House, the residential tower block in the middle of Basildon town centre. This window is in the bedroom of a child. Not only is it a potential risk to the residents of the flat, it lets the wind in. The higher up the tower you go, the worse the effects of the wind are. This is the 21st century yet people are forced to live in conditions like this in a block managed by Basildon Council. It does make you wonder what the council’s priorities are when residents have to endure this.
It’s not often we praise local councillors on here but Andrew Buxton, the councillor for the ward Brooke House is in, St. Martin’s, is on the case with issues in the block. However, he knows he’s up against constraints. One being the suspicion held by a lot of people that there’s a policy of managed decline being applied to Brooke House with the aim of forcing residents to seek transfers to alternative accommodation. The aim of managed decline being that of flogging the block off to a developer and trousering the cash.
Once again, the living conditions of residents and tenants come a poor second to pandering to developers who see regeneration in terms of revenue as opposed to any material improvement to the lives of existing residents. This is symptomatic of the skewed priorities of the political, economic and social system we have to endure where people’s needs come way below the profit motive and fiscal greed.
Good feckin’ riddance to him and his agenda of social cleansing. Focus E15 can rightly chalk this one up as a battle won in the war:)
Finally! Robin Wales has been deselected as mayoral candidate for Newham Labour after a tense battle against Rokshana Fiaz, who will now go on to face the electorate in the local elections in May and won by over 350 votes. The news of his deselection was announced on Friday 16 March 2018. It was Robin Wales, who told the original group of 29 mothers from Focus E15 hostel (after cutting the funding to the mother and baby unit) that “if you can’t afford to live in Newham, then you can’t afford to live in Newham”. Robin Wales has been in charge of Newham council for 23 years as he was head of the Council from 1995 and Labour Mayor since 2002. He has been an unpopular and unreachable figure. He spent decades promoting policies that has led to social cleansing, forcing working class people out of the borough whilst leaving…
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We’ve written numerous times about how the housing crisis in London has a direct impact on those of us living out along the Thames estuary. A housing crisis exacerbated by an intentional policy of social cleansing as part of the project of making the capital a welcome home for the global super rich to park their money in property ‘investment opportunities’. That’s block after block of empty apartments flipped to make a profit while the number of rough sleepers on the streets of London soars and more and more people are forced out of the capital. However, as you’ll see from this piece we’ve re-blogged, the architects of social cleansing are not getting it all their own way. Focus E15 are a Newham based group of activists who have been tirelessly standing up to the complicity of Newham Council in the project of social cleansing and this is a report of yet more actions they’ve taken to call the council to account.
The following blog post is taken directly from a report written for the Revolutionary Communist Group’s website. Thank you for allowing Focus E15 Campaign to reprint this report in full below.
Robin Wales, head of Newham Labour Council since 1995 and Labour Mayor of Newham since 2002 is facing the end of his reign. Rokhsana Fiaz is standing against him for the Labour mayoral candidacy and the results will be announced on Friday 16 March after local Labour members have voted. This situation came about after a trigger democracy process which has forced Wales to accept a challenger for the first time. All Newham wards voted for someone to stand against him. Wales is running scared and after decades of vicious treatment of working class people in the borough, he now proclaims himself a socialist leading a radical…
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Water coming from a blocked drain making the stairs dangerous to use
Drains in the basement area not being cleared leading to flooding when it rains
This comment made by one of the residents on the Brooke House Residents Basildon Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1587080528053394/) eloquently sums up the feelings of frustration and despair at the conditions in the public areas of Brooke House: It’s not good enough to be told it takes time. Not acceptable. I’ve complained about the flooding for 2 YEARS! I’ve also slipped twice coming out the lift, contacted the council asked if plastic flooring could be put down like they have in swimming pools until the flooding issue is sorted. Didn’t want to know. Darren Maybin doesn’t even reply to my emails any more, that’s so unprofessional and shows exactly what he thinks of our complaints. So now I’m going to the Echo and as a registered disabled person I will be quoting the Disability Act for the safety. I’m fed up now. I’m sick of being fobbed off. The emergency exits in this place are DANGEROUS. So I hope the council will respond in a quicker time when the echo run my piece and I’m telling them everything About this shit hole. Anyone else wanna join me feel free to. Babies,kids, disabled, elderly all live here and it’s an unsafe crap hole.
We’re aware the the local councillor, Andrew Buxton, is putting as much pressure as he can on the relevant officers at Basildon Council to get on top of the multiple issues at Brooke House. The problem Cllr. Buxton faces is having to deal with entrenched attitudes among too many officers at Basildon Council who regard social housing tenants as a nuisance. Which does lead us to ask the question as to who really holds the power to get things done at the council – the councillors or the permanent officers?
There are elements at Basildon Council who feel that social housing tenants have no right to be living in a convenient town centre location and should be moved out to estates on the periphery so they can flog Brooke House off to a developer and trouser the cash. The deterioration of the public areas of the block and the misery of living with the increasing risk that poses is making more and more of the residents think that the only solution is to apply for a transfer and hope they’re offered somewhere better to live. This is an intentional policy of managed decline. We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again – what’s happening at Brooke House is to all intents and purposes a deliberate process of social cleansing in the name of ‘regeneration’.