Police attack Aylesbury estate occupation - call for solidarity

Around 100 riot police attacked the Aylesbury estate occupation on Tuesday night at 7pm. Crowds of protesters gathered, including comrades from the Revolutionary Communist Group and other local organisations, to oppose the violent police eviction which was responding to an IPO issued by the court earlier in the day.

Police are confronted by Aylesbury Occupation protesters

Police used angle grinders and battering rams to enter the occupation, surrounded by masked up police with riot helmets and video cameras. 6 people were snatched, trampled and arrested for supporting the protest. However the occupation continued to resist, moving to a nearby building next door, outwitting the police and local authorities. On the night protesters also confronted bailiffs and council workers who had been employed to weld shut the previous occupation, guarded by police.

 

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Labour MP Diane Abbott faces hostility and anger at housing meeting in Southwark


Photo: Peoples's Republic of Southwark

How can we solve the housing crisis? This was the question set by a public meeting called by Southwark Defend Council Housing (SDCH) on 10 February. Following the recent protest occupation of the Aylesbury Estate in Southwark - a huge council estate earmarked for demolition and 'regeneration' - there was a new mood in the meeting, with several speakers suggesting that a housing movement is starting to develop. The majority in the meeting were clear about how we can solve the housing crisis - we need to escalate the fight and we cannot trust our politicians. Headline speaker Diane Abbott MP refused to publicly support the occupation or condemn the actions of Southwark Labour council. Her useless speech only served to confirm the mood and comments from other speakers and the floor - that the Labour Party does not and will not represent working class people.

 

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Lend Lease Corporation Limited – another octopus

The South London Revolutionary Communist Group leaflet supporting the occupation of the Aylesbury Estate in Southwark (fight4theaylesbury.wordpress.com) says of Southwark’s Labour-led council that its attacks on the Aylesbury Estate are just like their attacks on the Heygate Estate; ‘The Heygate was sold for £50m to Lend Lease even though it cost Southwark £65m to evict the tenants! Several council members then went to work for Lend Lease! Lend Lease paid for a trip to Cannes for the head of Southwark council!’ On 5 December 2014 Southwark Council announced that Lend Lease had received planning permission for the next phase of its £1.5bn regeneration of the Elephant and Castle. Southwark Council approved plans for 593 new homes and 43,000 square feet of retail space at Elephant Park, to be named West Grove. This follows the launch of 360 homes, known as South Gardens, earlier in 2014; ‘Lend Lease will build nearly 2,500 new homes on the site between now and 2025’, said the Council. So why is Lend Lease so favoured by Southwark Council?

 

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Whittington Hospital - stop cuts and outsourcing! Local activists speak at Whittington Hospital board meeting 4/2/2015

We have been campaigning against cuts and outsourcing at the Whittington for more than two years now. During this time, hundreds of thousands has been spent by Whittington Health to pay consultants, for example Uniparts Consultants. Plans for a sell off of land, presumably drawn up with the help of these private consultants, ended up being scrapped last year after local protest. According to the Camden New Journal 10 board members have resigned since then.

So it should be no surprise that local people are angry and want answers about the future of the hospital. A number of points were raised in our letter to you ahead of this meeting, which you gave partial answers to, but important questions remain.

 

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Focus E15 campaign censored by Channel 4

 

On 19 December 2014 Jasmin Stone from the Focus E15 campaign appeared on Channel 4 News as part of a live housing debate with Ryan Bourne from the free-market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs.

Jasmin responded well to Ryan Bourne’s free market mantra, putting her points clearly and simply. What viewers would not have known is that beforehand Jasmin received strict orders from the Channel 4 news team about what she was allowed to talk about.

 

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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.

 

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Press release: Residents fighting against the privatisation of the Whittington hospital

Whittington Hospital management board. 4 June 2014

Residents fighting against the privatisation of one of London’s largest hospitals of one of London’s largest hospitals are set for a showdown with its management.

Locals angered by the contracting out of services at the Whittington Hospital in Archway will rally outside the hospital ahead of the board’s monthly meeting on the 4th February.

The rally, which is being organised by the Revolutionary Communist Group (RCG), aims to raise awareness of the hospital’s plight.

The organisation, which has already asked to be included in the meeting agenda, will question senior figures of the board, including its Chair Steve Hitchins, about creeping privatisation at the hospital.

 

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No deportations! Defend Ife's right to stay!

‘The most important thing is my child. They know – they know it won't be the same care and yet they want to dump the child’ Chino, Ife's mother

Two-year old Ife and her family have been threatened with deportation from their home in Peckham, south London to Nigeria, and they are determined to fight back. Chino, Ife's mother, fears for her future; Ife, born with Down's syndrome and health complications, relies on essential healthcare and support here. FRFI supporters met Chino during a local street stall against benefit sanctions. Together we started a campaign to defend Ife's right to stay.In addition to facing the vicious immigration system, the family are enduring NHS charges and financial insecurity, effects of increasingly racist and hostile government policy.

 

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Justice for Eric Garner - protest in London

Eric Garner protest blocks the road in west London

Members of the RCG and the Focus E15 Campaign attended the Eric Garner demo called by London Black Revs on Wednesday evening.  

600 Londoners, mostly young and black, came out in solidarity with victims of the US and British police force.  Chanting 'we can't breathe', the last words of murdered black man Eric Garner, this protest took the form of a die-in, as protesters lay in the middle of the Westfield Shopping Centre. 

 

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Focus E15 campaign helps to win important victory for local mother

On Tuesday 25 November the Focus E15 campaign helped win an important victory for young mother Candice and her 18-month-old baby.

After hours of negotiations in Bridge House, part of Newham Council's housing service, Candice and her baby were offered a two-bedroom home (in the private rented sector) in Newham.

Candice and her baby had been relying on friends and family, sleeping on sofas and in living rooms. Last year they were offered a place in Liverpool as part of the Newham’s social cleansing policy to send council tenants out of London. But why should she be sent hundreds of miles away family, friends and support networks.

 

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Keeping up the pressure against social cleansing: Focus E15 campaign occupies East Thames offices

Photo by Rosie Hallam

On Wednesday 29 October, Focus E15 campaign, including supporters of FRFI, occupied East Thames Housing Association offices in Stratford to keep up the pressure regarding the treatment of the residents from Focus E15 hostel (they insist on calling it a foyer) which East Thames manages for Newham Council. Increasingly, residents are facing evictions from the hostel, with many ending up homeless; sofa-surfing or on the streets. 

 

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Focus E15 public meeting: ‘Repopulate the Carpenters Estate!’

On 20 October, Focus E15 campaign held a public meeting in Docklands and Carpenters centre and brought together those who have built the campaign over the last year, those who contributed to the extraordinary success of the recent Open House occupation of boarded up flats on Carpenters Estate, residents of Carpenters Estate and housing activists from around London.

One year to the day since the original eviction date for the mothers and babies of Focus E15 hostel, over 100 people packed into the hall.

The meeting was opened by Jasmin and Sam from the campaign, who set the background of the fight against social cleansing and for social housing.

 

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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.

 

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Focus E15 Mothers: organise to fight for social housing

Interview with Jasmine Stone and Sam Middleton, from the Focus E15 Mothers campaign, which formed one year ago to fight their eviction from a hostel in Stratford. Filmed on 26 September 2014, they were speaking from the new social centre opened up by activists in some of the hundreds of flats left empty on the Carpenters Estate by the Newham council. Produced by the Revolutionary Communist Group (RCG).

 

Focus E15 Mothers set up E15 Social Centre in vacant council homes

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On Sunday 21 September, on the occasion of its first anniversary, the Focus E15 campaign stepped up its fight against social cleansing by occupying vacant council housing in Newham, East London.

Amidst a ‘Fun Day’, organised to celebrate the one year anniversary of the campaign, supporters of the campaign occupied four properties on the Carpenters Estate, which the local Labour council has earmarked for demolition and redevelopment. With Newham’s Labour Mayor away at the Labour Party conference, an occasion which saw Labour Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls reassert Labour’s commitment to savage service cuts – ‘balancing the books’ -, what better time to step up the fightback against cuts, social cleansing and gentrification?

 

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Palestine protestors visit Tony Blair's house

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Sat 23 August: After the Palestine Solidarity Campaign demonstration outside 10 Downing Street, FRFI supporters were among those who initiated a spontaneous rolling picket from Whitehall to Oxford St, Edgware Road and finally to the house of Tony Blair, UN 'peace envoy', shouting and chanting at each business with links to Israel on the way.

 

Marks & Spencer on Oxford Street blockaded in solidarity with Gaza

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On Thursday 7 August, supporters of FRFI campaign Victory to the Intifada blockaded the doors of Marks & Spencer (M&S) on Oxford Street in response to M&S' support for Israel. The doors were blocked with banners reading, 'Israeli Apartheid – Leave the Shop' and 'End the Siege of Gaza' attracting a good response from passing shoppers. There was a great turnout expressing the popular anger at Israel's massacre and blockade of Gaza, and Britain's continuing complicity.

Hundreds of people participated over the course of the demonstration, making this picket one of the loudest and most powerful yet. There was an open microphone with constant speeches and chanting supporting the struggle of the Palestinian people, and attacking British support for Israel. Demonstrators declared their solidarity with the activists from London Palestine Action who were recently arrested for closing down the Elbit arms factory near Birmingham, which produces engines for Israel's murderous drones. Hundreds more people signed our long-running petition calling for a boycott of M&S.

 

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Newham Mayor Robin Wales under investigation for abusive behaviour

Focus E15 campaigners with their banners

On Thursday 31 July, members of the E15 housing campaign, including RCG supporters, attended a meeting of the Newham Standards Advisory Committee, which was discussing how to deal with a complaint of misconduct against Newham Labour Mayor Robin Wales.

The complaint was made after the Mayor of Newham’s Show in East Ham Central Park on 13 July, where Wales lost his temper when the E15 campaign exposed his social cleansing agenda on his ‘family day’.

See the following video:

After 45 minutes’ discussion behind closed doors, the Standards Advisory Committee agreed to take the complaint forward and carry out a formal investigation. The outcome will be announced in September.

No to Social Cleansing! Yes to Social Housing!

 

London marches against Zionist brutality

As the Zionist death toll in Gaza mounts, on 19 July comrades from London Revolutionary Communist Group and supporters of our Victory to the Intifada campaign joined a massive, angry demonstration through London, called by the national Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al Aqsa and other organisations. 

We marched from Downing Street to the Israeli embassy, using our powerful mobile sound system as an open mic, which attracted many protesters to join our contingent, chanting slogans and making speeches about the unfurling atrocities.  We also used the mic to focus on British support for Zionism, highlighting branches of Marks & Spencer, MacDonalds and HSBC (which underwrites the Israeli economy) along the way. And we booed loudly as we passed the French embassy in response to the French government’s blatant capitulation to Israeli genocide in Gaza, by banning pro-Palestinian demonstrations in Paris.

 

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Long live Palestine! End British collaboration with Zionism - 12 July 2014

VTI Boycott Israel Protest Oxford Street outside Barclays Bank

In response to Israel’s continuing genocidal onslaught on the people of Gaza, supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and our campaign Victory to the Intifada staged a militant rolling picket the length of London’s busiest shopping street, highlighting some of the many British and US corporations which provide financial support to the Zionist war machine.

 

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Protest outside Judicial Review of Work Capability Assessment

On 8 July 2014, London RCG comrades joined a demonstration outside the Royal Courts of Justice against the hated Work Capability Assessments (WCA), which are used to humiliate, punish and sanction people claiming disability benefits. The protest was called by the Mental Health Resistance Network (MHRN) and Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC).

A previous successful challenge to WCA brought by the MHRN forced the court to conclude that people with mental health problems are unfairly disadvantaged by the so-called 'medical' tests which fail to ensure claimants can submit further medical evidence to support their benefit claims and to accurately reflect how their condition affects their ability to work. 

 

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Focus E15 campaign – march for decent housing, 5 July 2014

On Saturday 5 July, supporters of FRFI joined the first march of the Focus E15 campaign. 150 people, including representatives from over 25 organisations, marched through the London borough of Newham, beginning and ending in East Ham Central Park. Passing Newham Town Hall twice, the marchers made their feelings known about Newham’s Labour Mayor, Robin Wales, with messages about the housing crisis being attached to the railings. The campaign’s message was heard loud and clear all along the route – social housing, not social cleansing!

 

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Whittington Hospital board meeting is ‘hijacked’ as protesters hand over petition

Campaigners unfurl their huge petition outside Whittington Hospital

Published: 13 June, 2014
by TOM FOOT

BOSSES at Whittington Hospital stormed out of a board meeting after NHS campaigners delivered a petition containing 3,700 signatures.

The petition, printed on dozens of sheets of paper and presented to the board, raised a range of concerns about creeping privatisation, policy decisions – including the latest A&E shake-up at the Archway hospital – and the threat of cuts to frontline services.

It was organised by north London branch of the Revolution­ary Communist Group, which says it works with the Defend Whittington Hospital Coalition campaign group in monitoring the NHS trust.

 

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Homes that need people and people who need homes

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See our facebbook page for more photos

Focus E15 campaign - Focus on the Future - made a bold statement on the Carpenters' Estate on Monday 9 June in East London to highlight and challenge Newham Labour Council's policy of expelling the poor and vulnerable out of London to towns and cities hundreds of miles away, claiming there is no housing in Newham. Thousands of properties are empty and boarded up in Newham and not least is the example of the Carpenters Estate.

 

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Whittington Hospital campaigners demand an end to cuts and privatisation - 4 June 2014

THE CHAIRMAN of a hospital under threat of cuts and privatisation stormed out of a public meeting on Wednesday after being presented with more than 5,000 signatures from campaigners opposed to the Board's plans.

Steve Hitchins, who is Chair of the Whittington Hospital Trust Board, refused to answer questions about why the hospital is being privatised and why A&E services are now under review. Instead he instructed his colleagues on the Management Board to leave the room.

 

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Stop the privatisation of Whittington Hospital! We want our NHS back!

For more than a year, North London RCG have been maintaining weekly street stalls in opposition to the privatisation agenda being pushed through by the management board of Whittington Hospital in Archway.

The response clearly shows the anger in the local community. Hundreds of people stop to sign and talk each week and a group of regular supporters have joined in our protests. On 19 April we took a banner to the hospital made up of hundreds of handwritten messages from local residents demanding the Whittington Hospital is kept as a local general hospital and not turned into a Foundation Trust. 

 

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Commemorating the Nakba in London

On 15 June comrades and supporters of the Revolutionary Communist Group took to Oxford Street in central London to show solidarity with Palestine on the day Palestinians refer to as the Nakba (the Disaster). The Nakba commemorates the period in 1948 when over 700,000 Palestinians had to flee their homes, or were physically removed, during the vicious war on Palestinian people by the newly-founded Israeli state. During this period Israel took vast swathes of the Palestinian territory and no Arab-Palestinian state was created. 

VTI protest outside M&S 2014

The protest took place outside Marks and Spencer as it is a British high street business that has vast trade links with Israel. The campaign Victory to the Intifada continues to take an active part in the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions street movement to put pressure on the British state to cease financial support with racist and apartheid Israel. 

 

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Save the NHS and Whittington Hospital

Saturday 12 April, protesting in Nags Head to save the NHS and Whittington Hospital

Since early 2012, North London RCG has held regular stalls in Holloway, North London, petitioning against attempts to turn the local Whittington Hospital into a Foundation Trust, a further step towards privatisation.The Hospital Management's plans have included severe cuts to staff and facilities. Thousands of people have stopped to sign and show their support. With the Hospital's future more uncertain than ever, we continue to hold weekend stalls in Holloway and Archway. Join us to demand a state-funded, local hospital that meets people's needs.
Don't just get angry, get active!

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The Fight for Decent Housing

Contact:

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Tel: 07857 988 192
Blog: wewantournhsback.tumblr.com
Website: www.revolutionarycommunist.org/index.php/branches/london

 

Fighting cuts and sanctions in south London

Fight South London Southwark March 9

Southwark Labour Council has just announced a further swingeing £19m of cuts in its 2014/2015 budgets. South London RCG is on the streets every week, campaigning, organising and speaking out against cuts in services and benefits. Southwark is already one of the ten most deprived of London boroughs, with a slew of shameful statistics to its name. For example:

 

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February days of action: Focus E15 mothers campaign steps up the pressure

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February has been a busy month for the Focus E15 Campaign, with organised and lively events stepping up the pressure on Newham's Labour council, and building the campaign. Lets hope March will be an even busier month, pushing the message - social housing, not social cleansing!

On Friday 21 February, the Focus E15 campaign held their 'Focus Fun Bus Big Day Out'. Focus E15 mothers and their supporters, including FRFI/RCG, and friends took thousands of signed petitions to hand in to Boris Johnson, mayor of London, at City Hall. Travelling on a decorated open top bus, the campaign was heard loud and clear as the bus went from Stratford, east London, to the embankment near Tower Bridge, singing and chanting 'social housing, not social cleansing', demanding the basic right of secure social housing, not insecure private-sector rented accommodation. 

 

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London branches

North London
020 7837 1688
northlondonfrfi@gmail.com

Videos

   

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