March for Homes - Social Housing! Not Social Cleansing!

On Saturday 31 January, London supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! were on the March for Homes, setting off from South London and East London to meet at City Hall, seat of London mayor Boris Johnson. In the South we marched with Lewisham Homeless Persons Union and Lewisham People Before Profit, setting off from Elephant and Castle. As we stood by the Strata tower and the new ‘regeneration’ projects, and passed the space where the Heygate used to stand, we spoke on our open mic about the local Labour council responsible for the evictions and sell-off of social housing that is ongoing in the area.

On the eastern branch of the march, FRFI joined forces with the Focus E15 and Fred John Towers housing campaigns. The contingents were militant and noisy, speeches and chanting ensured the messages were heard: Social housing! Not social cleansing! Build council housing not luxury apartments! Open up all boarded up homes! FRFI speakers are clear, many of the housing battles are taking place in Labour-run boroughs and that voting Labour at the next election is not the answer. We also held an open mic session after the short rally, to ensure that local campaigns and individuals wanting to tell their stories of struggle and resistance could come together and continue to organise.

A march is a good start, but what next? It is vital to take inspiration from campaigns such as Focus E15 that have consistently built in their local area to make the demand for social housing ongoing, organised and active – because it is clear that no one will organise to defend the working class except ourselves. Join the resistance!