Letters - FRFI 262 February/March 2018

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Housing associations failing disabled people

Dear FRFI,

I am a resident of Goodrich Court Estate, very close to Grenfell Tower. I have lived here since 2005. When my family and I moved in, the estate was managed by Threshold Association. But in 2007 London and Quadrant Housing Association (L&Q Group) took over.

Since then, the vulnerable disabled and older residents have been neglected. L&Q Group can claim grants from the RBKC Council and charity organisations to improve accessibility for tenants, and that’s the only time that we get to see a staff member from L&Q Group in person, knocking on our doors to ask us, the disabled people who live on the ground floor, to sign the grant application form. L&Q Group states that it wants to secure our homes. However, after our landlord received the grant money we have only seen a small part of it spent on us. I feel that we disabled residents are used by L&Q Group for their profit-making.

I have made countless complaints to L&Q Group housing association. They keep passing these around their staff and there is never a response. My landlord has failed to meet my needs, especially as my circumstances have changed; we have two children with a 10-year age gap between them.

Four years ago I asked L&Q Group to rehouse us in a three bedroom ground floor flat. They put me on their home bidding system and on Home Swaps. Both had no luck. L&Q Group later revealed that they don’t even have any three bedroom ground floor flats with their property letting agent! They wasted four years of our lives on their property bidding system. Mr Ben O’Brien, Goodrich Court Residents Manager for L&Q Group, recently asked my local MP Emma Dent-Coad and my local Councillor Judith Blakeman if they have the power to find a home for my family!

We pay weekly rent to L&Q Group, and they are supposed to be responsible for all their residents. But they are greedy landlords who don’t care about Goodrich Court or about disabled residents.

There is a lack of repair and cleaning at Goodrich Court. The main building is falling apart, with damage caused by water leaks from the roof guttering which is full of rubbish, and water flowing through the walls. L&Q Group have been made aware of this. The Goodrich Court Estate, especially when it rains, smells like dead rats. I am very concerned for the health and safety of all the residents. What do these landlords see us as?

Kerdesan Gallardo

West London


Apply for prison education

The importance of education to the lives of prisoners needs no introduction. Yet the failings of the system to ensure quality of access have to be reiterated. Here at the School of the Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), part of the University of London, a group of students have started a project to part remedy some of the gaps in the educational provisions of the students.

We set up Prisoner Education Penpal Society (PEPSoc) to allow students in prison to connect with their counterparts at the leading institute in the western hemisphere for the study of Africa and Asia including the regions known as the Middle East and Far East.

The project is open to prisoners at any level of education. To apply send the required details to:

Prisoners Education Penpal Society

c/o SOAS Student Union

10 Thornhaugh St

London 

WC1H 0XG

Required information:

1. Your name and prison number

2. Current level of education and subjects

3. Age

4. Your academic interests

5. Which of the following subject areas studied at SOAS interest you even if you may not be studying them yourself? This will help us match you to appropriate students.

• Anthropology and sociology

• African Studies and languages

• Middle East Studies and languages

• South Asia Studies and languages

• South East Asia Studies and languages

• Law

• Linguistics 

• History, Religions, Philosophy, Politics

6. Any other relevant information.

We look forward to hearing from our fellow students and sharing thoughts and insights. Don’t hesitate to send us your enquiries and advice too.

Talha Ahsan

on behalf of PEPSoc SOAS

Universal Credit gives us no chance

With the rollout of Universal Credit I have met people who prefer to work for as little as £30 a day rather than deal with the job centre. Regular sanctions for no reason, the expectations of applying for unsuitable work and the belittlement faced when attending job centre meetings, are all reasons why low paid, ‘cash in hand’ work is preferable. Universal Credit is forcing workers to accept low pay and insecurity when they could be searching for a decent job. And because the work is paid in cash, the worker is deemed to be working illegally, and therefore cannot report the employer for risk of getting in trouble themselves. Universal Credit is not just being implemented badly, as Labour says in its limited criticism, it is a barbaric attack on the poor and will increase poverty in working class areas.

John Ferguson

Newcastle


Facebook censorship

teleSUR English’s Facebook page was mysteriously deactivated for 24 hours over 23-24 January. Facebook claimed the page was ‘temporarily unavailable due to an internal mistake’, but regardless of its intentions, this reminds us that major social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are now major corporations, and as such progressives and revolutionaries must not rely on these services either as news sources or as a method of reaching people.

This follows Facebook’s announcement that it will be cracking down on ‘fake news’. It is having meetings with the Israeli and US governments – teleSUR English’s Facebook page features Palestinian resistance fighter Ahed Tamimi on its cover photo. One charge against Nariman Tamimi, Ahed’s mother, is live-streaming the video of Ahed slapping an IDF occupier on Facebook.

teleSUR is a major source of news and history from a progressive Latin American perspective, from the recent protests against election fraud in Honduras and economic war against the Venezuelan people to commemorations of the Bolshevik Revolution. They’ve also helped chronicle ‘Great Britain’s Record of Bloodshed, Imperialism, Genocide’. So we cannot be surprised when the ruling class censors such important coverage.

Matt Glass

Nottingham


Thanks from Anti-Internment Group London

The Anti-Internment Group London would like to thank RCG comrades for supporting our recent public meeting in London. It was a successful evening of solidarity with political prisoners in Ireland and in Turkey. We were pleased to receive solidarity messages from the prisoners’ organisations IRPWA and Cogús. The Cogús statement included a message from Conner Hughes who is being held in Maghaberry. Cait Trainor highlighted the cases of Tony Taylor, Craigavon 2, Neil Hegarty and Gabriel Mackie, and the threatened extradition of Liam Campbell from the 26 Counties to Lithuania. Tom from AIG explained AIG principles and future plans. The People’s Front from Turkey spoke about 350 People’s Front hunger strikers in Turkey. Videos from the event can be viewed on our Facebook page.

Please join us for our next public event on Saturday 24 February at Brixton starting 1pm. Brixton Belfast Grenfell. No more state murders! Followed by discussion meeting from 3pm.

Seamus O’Rourke

Anti-Internment Group


40 years in solitary confinement

I hope that your families and soldiers are ok and in good health at that end. As for me, I’m ok at this end.

This message is to let you soldiers know that after doing 40 years straight in the hole (solitary confinement) in these jails over here the state let me out and back into general population at this joint, Coal Township. The state said that the reason why they kept me in the hole for so long was because I had killed too many state employees and policemen in the streets and that I had to be punished.

I am writing to let you soldiers know that we black outlaws at this end love you soldiers on that end and that we in these holes could not have survived if it was not for your help and support, and if it were not for the help and support of the soldiers on the streets at this end, we black outlaws that are still operating inside of the people’s struggle against state oppression would have been destroyed.

We love you for that support.

Joe-Joe

Joseph ‘Joe-Joe’ Bowen #AM-4272

SCI Coal Township,

1 Kelley Drive

Coal Township, PA 17866-1021

United States

Joe-Joe Bowen is a Black Liberation Army Prisoner of War, who is serving two life sentences for the 1973 assassination of a prison warden and deputy warden, as well as an attempted prison break in 1981 which resulted in a five-day standoff. More information about his situation can be found at http://prisonersolidarity.net/prisoner/joseph-joe-joe-bowen


Please address letters to:

FRFI, BCM Box 5909, London WC1N 3XX

Or, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 262 February/March 2018

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