Another victory for the Focus E15 Campaign

On 2 October, FRFI supporters joined over one hundred other supporters outside Bow County Court for the second eviction hearing of Newham Council versus the occupied social centre which was set up on the Carpenters Estate by the Focus E15 Campaign. Russell Brand, who has visited the centre and lent his support to the fight against homelessness in London , was present as was commentator, journalist and Labour party member Owen Jones. The chanting and speeches were led by those supporters of FRFI who have attended and organised the regular Focus E15 Saturday street events in Stratford for the past year.

The Court agreement with Focus E15 was that the social centre on Carpenters Estate will be vacated on 7 October and the council will bring no charges. The campaign and its supporters, many of them mums and kids, then marched to occupy East Thames housing association. After that the march made its noisy way to the Housing Office, which had locked its doors. Finally everybody arrived at the social centre on Carpenters Estate to enjoy good communal cooking together.

The events of the day increased the number of people who are determined to take a stand for social housing rights. The message is clear, social housing is a right, take to the streets and carry on the fight.

Come and join the Focus E15 campaign and supporters of FRFI at weekly street stalls:

Saturday 12-2 - outside Wilkinsons on Stratford Broadway, E15.

Press statement

Victory to Focus E15 Occupation

The fight for council housing in Newham and London continues

Despite Newham Council’s attempt to evict us, we can today confirm that the E15 Open House occupation will continue until 7th October as planned.

We called Newham Council on the first day of the occupation to negotiate with us. The plan was never to stay indefinitely. They refused to speak to us. Instead they chose to use draconian and expensive legal procedures, threats and dirty tricks. They cut off our water and vandalized the water mains, served an unlawful court summons with only two hours notice and they have repeatedly misled the public.

If Newham had come to talk to us we could have agreed to leave within two weeks. Instead, they refused to enter into a dialogue. We would like to know how much taxpayers money has been spent on taking us to court, and how many people that money could have housed.

Our demands to the Council continue to be:

This experience has shown us that there is a broad based movement for council housing in London. There are empty homes in every borough, every town and every city in the country. Focus E15 show us that there are simple, community based solutions to the housing crisis.

We will continue to fight displacement and evictions and to campaign for secure, council housing through direct action, mobilisation and legal means. See you on the streets, in the courtrooms and in our future actions.

This is the beginning of the end of the housing crisis.