- Created: Thursday, 01 December 2016 11:08
- Written by London Branches
On Wednesday 30 November, the RCG were among the two dozen social housing activists who responded to the call by Class War to protest outside Zaha Hadid Architects practice in Clerkenwell against their anti-working class, neoliberal principal, Patrik Schumacher. In a recent presentation at the World Architecture Festival in Berlin Schumacher claimed that council house tenants in central London are ‘free-riding’ and should be shooed along to make way for his staff members or those that supposedly generate wealth. This is just one of the many poisonous ideas that seem to spew out of Schumacher’s mouth; he recently lavished praise on those who have second homes in London: ‘Even if they’re here only for a few weeks and throw some key parties, these are amazing multiplying events.’ It seems astonishing that one of the leading voices in contemporary architecture can be saying that someone staying for only a few weeks is more entitled to a second home than one of the thousands of Londoners that don’t even have a roof over their heads in the first place.
These dangerous and borderline fascist remarks cannot be accepted. The only way to combat the current housing crisis is to take a stand, to fight for social housing, against the corrupt councils and against the savage cuts imposed on the already crumbling social housing situation that the people face. Today showed there is the appetite for action against these rich bullies and politicians. We have already seen grassroots organisations such as the Focus E15 campaign who inspired huge attention to their cause against social cleansing and continue to keep the pressure this day after three hard fought years. They are an example to working class people all over Britain and the world, demonstrating that you don’t have to just passively accept the situation you end up in, that you can in fact stand up and fight back.
The protest was fired by passion and anger at the social cleansing that Patrik Schumacher is suggesting. With banners and megaphones the activists put on a great demonstration, bringing noise and action to an otherwise quiet Farringdon street. Schumacher was called out at several occasions to come and debate with the protesters, but surprisingly enough he never showed his face and opted to stay behind his security staff and electric fences. A crowd of passers-by gathered and journalists from the mainstream media reported on the events that unfolded. Schumacher can be assured that this isn’t the last time he can expect to be called out on his repugnant and dangerous views.