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Posted on 13 September 2016 at 14:12 GMT

Butterfields financial appeal

An appeal from Waltham Forest Trades Council

Dear Friends,

Butterfields tenants have been fighting eviction since January 2016. They have put up spirited resistance. But now the new landlords are bringing possession summonses. The courts are stacked against tenants in every way.

Tenants have already raised funds with a comedy night, donations from various organisations, trade unions and individuals, and through crowdfunding. But the courts are another matter.

The families urgently need your help to raise 15,000. If we can't raise money then their campaign will move straight to facing bailiffs. Can you and your organisation make a donation towards our legal challenge?

The history

Butterfields Won't Budge is a campaign of around 50 tenants and their families who live in two small roads called Butterfields and Shernhall Street in Walthamstow, on the edge of an area becoming rapidly gentrified. These small two-bedroom flats were built about 70 years and were owned in more recent times by Glasspool, a charitable company. Nine months ago Glasspool sold out to a very aggressive property company - Butterfields E17 Ltd - without any guarantees for tenants. Immediately the new landlords set about trying to evict the tenants, some who have lived there for ten years and more. In January this year many received Letters to Quit asking them to leave their homes within two months.

The tenants could not afford the sky-rocketing local rents. The council could not be relied upon to rehouse them adequately. They had nowhere to go. They want to stay where they have families, friends, jobs and children's schools. They are a community. Their appeal to the local trades council Housing Action Network was taken up. In January at the first street meeting it was decided they would resist. A Tenants' and Residents' Association (TRA) was established and a plan of action worked out.

Campaigning activities have included:

■ Posters in windows, a big banner in the street, and then placards in gardens all declaring 'Butterfields Won't Budge'

■ Appeals to local trade unions and political parties, and an online petition launched

■ A march through local main roads

■ Pickets of the auction houses like Savills to stop the sell-off of empty flats

■ Coverage on TV, radio and both local and national press

■ Demonstration outside the landlord's mansion and a protest letter delivered

■ Harassment resisted with the police warning the landlord's front-man off the estate

■ An 'estate agents crawl' to ask them not to handle any flats - with an amazingly positive response!

Many thanks in anticipation of a generous donation,
Linda Taaffe (secretary, Waltham Forest Trades Council)

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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.

Please donate here.

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Related links:

Butterfields:

triangleHow working-class tenants beat Gentrification

triangleButterfields tenants join TUSC campaign

triangleOne in three borrow for rent, Corbyn pledges housing revolution

triangleEast London tenants fight 40% rent hike

triangleRents up 40% - can't pay, will stay!

Appeal:

triangleDonations help us campaign and fight for socialism

triangleFighting Fund: Target smashed by half time

triangleFighting fund: help us smash our target!

triangleDonate so we can raise our socialist message

Tenants:

triangleAct now to cancel Covid crisis rents and debt

triangleStarmer in full retreat over C-19 rents crisis

triangle'The little people can win' - Leeds tenants push back demolition

Council:

triangleEngage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

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