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From The Socialist newspaper, 2 February 2015

New Era estate tenants on the March for Homes, 31.1.15, London, photo by Clare Doyle

New Era estate tenants on the March for Homes, 31.1.15, London, photo by Clare Doyle   (Click to enlarge)

Londoners march for homes

Paul Callanan

Average rents in London have now reached an eye-watering £1,160 a month. Council house waiting lists are ballooning. Evictions are on the rise. Anger at this situation is felt particularly keenly by young people who also have to contend with endemic levels of low pay and huge student debts.

This was reflected in the youthful make-up of the capital's recent March for Homes, with marchers largely drawn from 'generation rent'. In total around 5,000 Londoners converged on City Hall on 31 January demanding a genuine solution to the capital's housing crisis.

March for Homes, London, 31st January 2015, photos Paul Mattsson

Click for gallery. March for Homes, London, 31st January 2015, photos Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)


The march demanded rent control and council house building. It was called by a coalition of housing campaigns and anti-cuts groups including the Socialist Party.

Among the protesters were residents from the New Era estate and Focus E15 campaigners who have led important struggles over housing in the past year. There was also a visible trade union presence, particularly from Unite the Union’s housing workers' branch, which organised a successful strike at the St Mungo’s housing charity at the end of 2014.

March for Homes, 31st January 2015, photos Paul Mattsson

Click for gallery. March for Homes, 31st January 2015, photos Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

The Socialist Party and the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) have been to the fore in local campaigns for the demands that the demo was called around. Nancy Taaffe, prospective parliamentary candidate for TUSC in Walthamstow, spoke from the platform outside Shoreditch church saying that we have to use “all the weapons in our armoury” including strikes, protests, occupations.
Nancy said that ultimately we have to build a political vehicle for workers and youth which will fight for a programme to solve the present housing crisis.

The march was met with huge levels of support from bystanders. As the South London leg of the march snaked its way around Southwark’s working class estates, people on the streets spoke about their increasing resentment at gentrification pushing up rents and forcing working class families out of the area.

Many people signed up to find out more about the Socialist Party having seen our members’ lively participation in the march.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 2 February 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Get organised and fight back

NHS crisis: Establishment parties can't be trusted

Fracking in trouble, from Lancashire to Lanarkshire!

Death, taxes and energy profits

Hands off our housing benefit!

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Cuba: Capitalist restoration threat accelerates

Greece: Syriza announces anti-austerity policies

Victory of the Marigold gloves


Socialist Party workplace news

Fighting for one London bus pay rate

Strike called off in face of inadequate pay offer

FBU recall conference: escalate pensions action!

Ferry workers win pay and conditions battle

National Gallery workers walk out against privatisation

Lambeth College strikers return to work

Ongoing battle to protect pay and conditions at college


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Londoners march for Homes

Academies victory: one down, four to go!

Rebuilding the student movement in Leicester

Gateshead fights for working class heritage

Election appeal 2015

Campaigns news in brief


Readers' comments

Why I joined the Socialist Party

At least we got Labour's fish and chips!

Disciplined for political comment


Socialist history

Miners' strike: vibrant array of support groups


 

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