Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/826/19274
From The Socialist newspaper, 24 September 2014
Tenants threatened by 'feudal lord'
Russel Brand is actively supporting the campaign to defend New Era estate tenants, photo Paul Mattsson (Click to enlarge)
Brian Debus, Hackney Socialist Party
Tenants on the New Era estate in Hackney are faced by an unholy alliance of predatory property speculation. It comes in the form of US-based Westbrook Partners and feudalistic landlord Richard Benyon MP.
Speaking to the Socialist, New Era tenant Mrs Hammond said "we have spent thousands on the flats modernising them up and now they are slinging us out."
Benyon, the richest Tory MP, lives on an 'estate' with a castle, a deer park and 20,000 acres of land. His interest is clearly in yet more profit for his vast estate and to hell with the tenants.
Westbrook also has form. The firm bought 1,600 properties in New York with the intention of driving up rents and making massive profits out of the misery of its tenants.
They were unsuccessful. They failed to maintain mortgage payments which led to foreclosure. During this period next to no maintenance was done.
"These guys took $133 million from the bank and not one dime has gone into taking care of the buildings we live in," said Debra Cooper, a tenants' union leader. "We live with constant leaks. I regularly don't have heat or hot water. We have no mail boxes and can't get our mail. Enough is enough." (From campaign website thesurrealestate.org.)
A massive campaign by the New York tenants has won rent rebates of $600 each - totalling $1million - and an increase in property maintenance.
Socialist Party activists on the New Era estate, September 2014, photo Paul Mattsson (Click to enlarge)
Donate to the Socialist Party
Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal
The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
In The Socialist 24 September 2014:
Socialist Party news and analysis
We need £10 an hour now!
Labour to continue austerity offensive
Climate change: Summit for nothing
Academies lead to nepotism and profit making
Them & Us
1.6 million vote Yes in revolt against austerity
After Scotland revolt: all capitalist parties in crisis
Scotland Poll: Electric mood among YES supporters
International socialist news and analysis
Millions on streets for Catalan independence
Sweden: Conservatives collapse, extreme-right gains
Socialist Party workplace news
United strike action can win
NHS workers vote to strike
College lecturers join 14 October strike
Care UK: 'We'll fight them all the way'
Croydon leisure centre strike for decent wages
West Midlands fire engine cuts
Workplace news in brief
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Tenants threatened by 'feudal lord'
Global day of eco action
Round up: Socialist Students at the freshers fairs
Socialist Party comments and reviews
The struggle for decent social care - a personal account
Tony Benn: Will and testament
Front row fury
The Socialist 24 September 2014 |
Join the Socialist
| PDF | ebook