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London protesters demand affordable housing
Scott Jones, East London Socialist Party
Chants of "Repopulate, the Carpenters Estate" reverberated around Stratford on 19 September as around three hundred demonstrators marched to mark one year since Focus E15 campaigners occupied four flats on the Carpenters Estate.
At a rally before the march, one heavily pregnant single woman spoke about how she was sent to Southend to view a council house, as none were available in Newham. But Southend is miles from her family and community and when she arrived the house was in a terrible state. When she told the council she didn't want to move to Southend, her benefits were threatened.
On the same day another housing demonstration took place in Haringey. Campaigners explained that the local council is attempting to eradicate all council housing, and to trick tenants into accepting a swap to a private tenancy. Activists and local campaigners marched from one of the local estates to Tottenham Town Hall, where several speakers expressed anger at the local Labour councillors for implementing cuts and policies of social cleansing.
In Newham, Lois Austin, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate in East Ham at the last general election, spoke on behalf of the 'BoleynDev100' campaign. The group is demanding 100% social housing at West Ham United's Boleyn football ground when it is turned into housing next year.
Lois spoke about how Jeremy Corbyn's election as Labour leader should be used to challenge Labour councillors over the housing crisis in Newham. If Labour councillors at the next election are not prepared to commit to opposing cuts, capping rents and investing in social housing then "we will stand against them and we will run the council."
Both marches were greeted with much support from passers-by.
There will also be a housing demonstration in Waltham Forest on 21 November at 12pm, Abbots Park, Leyton
In The Socialist 23 September 2015:
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