Victory! No charges to be brought against Jasmin Stone of Focus E15 campaign

On 13 April, Jasmin Stone of Focus E15 campaign and supporter of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! was arrested on suspicion of squatting in a raid organised by Newham council and police. There followed a loud and militant demonstration at the police station where she was held and she was bailed to attend a police station in mid May. We have just heard that no charges will be brought against her.

In the lead up to the arrest, the  Focus E15 campaign had been supporting Jane Wood, who had lived in Newham council accommodation, east London, for almost 21 years. On 24 March she and her 14-year-old daughter were evicted by bailiffs for rent arrears resulting from complex personal and medical circumstances leading to her Employment Support Allowance being stopped. At the last minute, when her family rallied around and offered to pay the outstanding debt, the Labour council refused to take the money, call off the bailiffs or allow Jane to keep her home.

Newham council is led by Labour Mayor Robin Wales, an unashamed advocate of gentrification, supporter of sanctioning and kicking out the poor and most vulnerable. Under his rule, 400 homes on the Carpenters’ Estate remain empty, while homeless people, whom the council has a statutory duty to house, are forced to move out of London.

This is an example of political policing and a targeted arrest in an attempt to silence and intimidate political activists. We will not accept the criminalisation of those who fight for social housing and against social cleansing.

Focus E15 campaign and supporters of the Revolutionary Communist Group, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! will be celebrating this victory on the weekly Focus E15 stall this Saturday 16 May from 12-2pm on The Broadway, Stratford E15, outside Wilko's. Come and join us.

Sweets Way campaign takes to the streets (Photo and video report)

Yes – the day before the 2015 General Election Sweets Way Resists put out a reminder of what the real political struggle in this country is about – social housing – public services – people before profits. Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! joined former residents and other supporters of Sweets Way in a show of solidarity with a mother who had been evicted by Barnet Council and placed in temporary accommodation in west London. As Juliet explained to a Sweets Way Resists campaign meeting the night before, her life, and that of her four children, had been destroyed. She was unable to travel to her job; her eldest child was expected to make a one and a half hour journey to her school morning and afternoon, despite being in her GCSE year. The letters she had received from the council after a three months silence following her appeal were threatening bureaucratic bullying.

On Wednesday 6 May we gathered to support Juliet who had a ‘last chance’ meeting with the council. We took to the roadway, the busy A1000 into London, blocking the traffic and asking for drivers to ‘honk’ their support for social housing – not social cleansing. With the news that Juliet had been offered accommodation in Barnet, we held a march of victory to Sweets Way. Only a partial victory, of course. Other displaced tenants of Sweets Way still have to be rehoused in THEIR area. And after the election, the fight against the property corporations, like Annington Homes, developers of Sweets Way and the collusion of local councils, like Barnet Council with the private sector will have to continue and gather pace.

Voting against cuts and privatisation in North London

North London RCG gave the people of Holloway the chance to vote early this Saturday during our regular weekend stall against the sell off of the Whittington Hospital and the privatisation of the NHS. As well as collecting petition signatures and handing out leaflets, we invited people to submit their vote to the ballot box. Unlike the charade that will pass for democracy on Thursday, our election wasn’t about voting for career politicians and corrupt political parties. Instead they ticked for free education, healthcare, social housing, no to austerity, imperialist war and racism and, particularly popular, send corrupt politicians jail and end corporate tax evasion.

Islington Council uses divide and rule to justify cutting vital services. We do not accept responsibility for choosing who should suffer worst. Take wealth from the bankers, the corporations, the politicians and give resources to those who need them. No cuts, full stop!

Court picket for Sweets Way wins first victory

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On Monday 23 March the Revolutionary Communist Group joined with residents, housing campaigners and activists in a picket of Barnet County Court. An injunction in the name of Annington Homes had been served on a string of organisations who have been occupying Sweets Way housing estate in Totteridge & Whetstone. Annington Homes is wholly owned by the private equity firm Terra Firma Capital Partners which is headed by the financier and speculator Guy Hands.

Barnet Council, in collusion with Annington, evicted 153 households on 13 February and most have been placed in entirely unsuitable, run-down, cramped accommodation out of the borough where their children go to school and nursery. They are leading the fight back to reclaim their homes. Annington Homes issued the injunction against the occupation of the estate last Thursday with a summons to appear in court today, Monday.

The judge today said that it is entirely unjust and unrealistic for a defence to be prepared in three days and adjourned the hearing until Monday.

Join in the fightback against evictions and in support of social housing: Join the picket outside the court next →

Monday 30 March, 10 am.

Barnet Civil and Family Courts Centre
Regents Park Road N3 1BQ
Finchley Central tube


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